Month: December 2013
By Tunde Alaran
Ogun State Governor, Senator Ibikunle AmosunOgun State House of Assembly passed the year 2014 Appropriation Law Titled: HB No, 42/OG/2013 with Sum of N210.2b as the total budget for the year 2014.Passing the Budget, the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Suraj Ishola Adekunbi, who directed that a clean copy of the bill be sent to the Governor for his assent, said the passage of the budget was a Christmas gift for the people of the State and pledged more rewarding service in advancing the development of the State. Presenting his report earlier, Chairman House Committee on Finance and Appropriation, Hon.Olusola Akanbi Bankole said that the budget process which saw 103 Ministries, Departments and Agencies defending their budget proposal earmarked N83.6billion as recurrent expenditure, N9.3billion as consolidated revenue fund charges, while N117.3billion was Capital Expenditure proportional to revenue performance from consolidated revenue fund. The committee’s report which was later adopted as amended through a motion moved by Hon. Bankole, seconded by Hon. Bowale Solaja and supported by the whole house; was later considered clause- to- clause after which the motion for the third reading of the bill was moved by the Majority leader, Hon. Israel Jolaoso seconded by Hon Elisabeth Anifowose.The N210.2b 2014 appropriation now has as its new title: A bill for a Law to authorize the issue and appropriation of the sum of N210, 286, 624 (Two hundred and ten billion, two hundred and eighty six million, six hundred and twenty four thousand naira only from the consolidated revenue fund for the services of Ogun State Government of Nigeria for the financial year ending 31st December, 2014.The budget was passed with a marginal increase of N81m from the initial budget presented to the House by the State Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun.
Story by: Dele Salako
It was honours galore for investigative reporters in Nigeria at the recently held 8th Wole Soyinka Award for Investigative Reporting. Organised annually by the Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism (WSCIJ), it was a time to honour the reporters’ courage, creativity and commitment to upholding the truth and exposing societal ills and official corruption at all levels Honours for Journalists at the Wole Soyinka Award for Investigative Reporting.
The event which held at the NECA Hall, Ikeja, Lagos, on December 9 – World Anti-Corruption Day – was an assemblage of academics, journalists, human rights activists, civil society organisations, journalism students and social commentators, also witnessing the esteemed presence of the centre’s patron, Professor Wole Soyinka.
The meeting teed off with opening remarks by Professor Ropo Sekoni, the WSCIJ Board Chair, who harped on the importance of investigative journalism in Nigeria while emphasising the urgent need for existing initiatives to be supported.
The British High Commissioner, Dr. Andrew Pocock, was represented at the awards by the commission’s Head Press and Public Affairs, Mr. Robert Fitzpatrick who highlighted the all-important role the media plays in holding to account the powerful in government or in business. He expressed the British High Commission’s pleasure at being associated with the Centre and its award programme through the commission’s support of the online category.
The Rivers State Governor, Rt. Hon. Rotimi Ameachi also sent a representative to the awards in the person of the state’s Commissioner for Information, Ms Ibim Semenitari, who noted that the Rivers state government lent its support to the award in recognition of its contribution to the growth of investigative journalism in the country. Semenitari said, “If the people will benefit from democracy then the media must be on the side of the people and continue to act as watchdog to the government.”
Chairman of the 2013 WSAIR Judges’ Board and Dean of the School of Journalism, Lagos State University, Professor Lai Oso, presented the judges’ observations on the entries for 2013. He highlighted the failings of many entries received and called on the media to do better investigative reporting even as he charged the Centre to embark on intensive training programmes.
The Lifetime Award for Journalistic Excellence was presented to veteran journalist, Amma Ogan who was profoundly honoured at being recognised and appreciated by the Centre. Solumfeechi, Dr Chidi Odinkalu’s ten year old daughter who received the Anti-Corruption Defender Award presented by Prof Wole Soyinka on behalf of the human rights advocate, also read his acceptance speech to the audience.
Adeyemi Adesemoju of the Punch Newspaper with his story, Court where alleged offenders are rushed to jail; Emmanuel Ogala of Premium Times with his entry, Jonathan awards $40 million contract to Israeli company to monitor computer, internet communication by Nigerians; and Ayoola Kassim of Channels Television with the piece, The Ikeja Police College received commendation certificates for their efforts.
The Local Government category was won by Bassey Udo and Ini Ekott of Premium Times with their story – How FCT officials steal houses, lands from Abuja indigenes in huge resettlement fraud and Nigeria’s misplaced talents, Asukwo Bassey’s witty drawing published in Businessday Newspaper won in the Cartoon category.
The Virginity Test, a 13-series work by Temitayo Famutimi of Punch Newspaper emerged winner in the Print category while Segun Elijah was runner-up in the same category with his entry titled, The Poachers Called Keepers published in National Standard Magazine.
Ruona Agbroko-Meyer and Ini Ekott emerged joint winners in the Online category with their story, How Nigeria Squanders Millions on Generators its Foreign Missions don’t Need while Tobore Ovuorie went home with the runner-up prize in the same category with her story – Gravely ill patients die queuing to see Nigeria’s few specialist doctors.
The Punch Newspaper’s Stanley Ogidi was a star indeed as his entries, A School in the Heart of Lagos and Two Bridges, One City were declared runner-up and winner in the Photojournalism category.
Aderonke Ogunleye of Premium Times won in the Sports category with her 2-part piece titled How Nigeria’s sports commission officials enriched selves, and cheat paralympians.
The 2013 WSCIJ-Nigerian Investigative Reporter of the Year, which is the overall prize of the award programme, went to the team of Ruona Agbroko-Meyer and Ini Ekott for their outstanding story – How Nigeria Squanders Millions on Generators its Foreign Missions don’t Need.
The winners received an award plaque, a backup computer hard drive and a cash prize of One Hundred Thousand Naira (N100, 000) each. The runners-up were given a cash prize of N50, 000 (Fifty Thousand Naira Only) and a backup computer hard drive each. The overall winners also took home framed plaques and an additional N50, 000. All finalists received a commendation certificate.
Prof Wole Soyinka in his keynote address urged the Centre and its supporters to keep up the fight. He however prayed for the grace for continuation in the fight against corruption. According to him, “The menace of corruption and impunity always fights back.” After him, Ms Toyin Akinniyi, a programme officer with the Centre gave the vote of thanks.
With reports from http://www.WSCIJ.org.