Posted by News Express | 8 February 2018 | 1,794 times
The Premium Times Centre for Investigative Journalism (PTCIJ) today announced the launch of “UDEME”, its leading-edge initiative focusing on Nigeria’s public procurement and budget implementation practices. The web platform, UDEME is scheduled to be launched on February 20, 2018, by 9:00 am at the Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Conference Center, Abuja.
A PTCIJ statement said: “The Nigerian media landscape is awash with news of astonishing waste in budget resources for special and zonal intervention projects which had in the past obviously profited little to the grassroots communities they meant to serve. In the last three years, a total of 274.58 billion has been allocated to Zonal Intervention Projects (ZIP) across the 109 Senatorial Districts and 360 Federal Constituencies in Nigeria. However, there was no commensurate output or benefit to the people of these constituencies. Reports have shown that most times, many of these projects are either abandoned or never executed even though funds were released to implement them. UDEME is thus a direct response to these problems of budget implementation accountability in Nigeria and hopes to provide a sustainable response to the overarching problems of corruption in Nigeria.
“The term “UDEME” originates from the South-South and South-East parts of Nigeria and it means “My Share” Although there exists some civil society actions aimed at tracking budget implementation, UDEME is most innovative for its nationwide approach towards tracking of these projects. More importantly, the web platform would enable journalists to track and report the state of contracted projects by past and present governments, ultimately providing substantive case studies for law enforcement prosecution and conviction of erring officials.
“The venue of the launch, Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Conference Center is a hub for social and civic engagements in Nigeria and it is expected that representatives from various government agencies, not-for-profit organizations, diplomatic agencies, media organizations and civil society organizations would convene to validate the development of an open source network which exists to promote accountability in the public and private sectors and to institute a culture of fact-checking in the Nigerian media ecosystem. Guest speakers at the event include Prof. Yemi Kale, the Statistician General of the National Bureau of Statistics and Mr SeunOnigbinde, the Co-founder and lead partner of BudgIT.
“UDEME joins other PTCIJ initiatives such as DUBAWA in exposing corruption in Nigeria, and inexorably assisting citizens and pressure groups to demand transparency and accountability from public officials and organizations. It is supported by the MacArthur Foundation and has collaborations with myriad media and IT agencies in Nigeria and the world.”
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