On the 5th of April, the Premium Times Centre for Investigative Journalism (PTCIJ), through its UDEME project, ended a three-day training workshop for campus journalists on the Basics of Accountability Journalism.
Over the last twelve months, UDEME, an accountability platform established by PTCIJ, has contributed immensely to revolutionising the accountability sector in Nigeria. Findings from the field have helped to produce over 60 investigative stories published on Premium Times through rigorous budget tracking (an on-site truth-grounding process), monitoring of the procurement processes, culminating in the revelation of corrupt government officials.
The event had in attendance 20 students selected from eight universities across the country. The Universities represented included the University of Ibadan, University of Uyo, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Bayero University Kano, Federal University Oye Ekiti, Obafemi Awolowo University, Lagos State University, and the University of Jos.
In its mission to hold lawmakers accountable, the Udeme.ng platform was also created to educate citizens on parts of the budget earmarked for developmental projects in their community. This will enable them to track, investigate and report corruption in the procurement and implementation processes of capital projects in the past and present government budgets. The platform has over 8,000 data sets spanning from 2015 till date. The data sets include constituency, capital and ecological-funded projects.
“The participants are to take charge of the future as individuals who will revive failing journalism in Nigeria,” said Dapo Olorunyomi, the Executive Director of PTCIJ.
In 2018, UDEME tracked projects across 14 states, publishing 60 investigative stories based on findings obtained from tracking constituency, capital and ecological projects. Using facts as a compelling force, UDEME engages the public actively on Twitter, where over 1,000 infographics on investigations have been uploaded. These infographics are uploaded daily, detailing the status of projects tracked, projects nominated by lawmakers, budgetary allocations, funds released for project implementation, MDAs supervising the projects and analysis of annual budgets.5