Investigative Journalists presents Assessment Report on Gov Bello’s stewardship in Kogi State

Guild of Investigative Journalists in Nigeria (NGIJ) has today presented its Governance Assessment Report (GAR) after a month – long investigation and findings on Kogi State under the leadership of Alhaji Yahaya Bello.

The report was presented to media practitioners at Nicon Luxury Hotel in Abuja.

President of the guild, Wale Abideen said in his opening remarks that the report was the product of a month-long survey of various priority programmes, projects and activities of the under – four years administration of Governor Yahaya Bello as well as the impact on the people of the state.

Abideen noted that the GAR was part of efforts to promote good governance, transparency and public accountability through periodic assessment and critical analysis of government policies and programmes and their impact on the people.

He said the guild consists of professional journalists with interest in investigative reporting and by extension, engaging in critical analysis of government policies and programmes and proactive good governance advocacy.

Activities of the organisation, he said, is targeted at fostering unity and development in Nigeria; hence its eagerness to identify, investigate and document reports of its findings for the purpose of educating the general public and re – awakening deep sense of collaborative public participation in governance.

“The NGIJ’s tour to Kogi State was aimed at getting firsthand information about the real situation on ground. Our members physically visited the three senatorial districts of the state and interacted with critical stakeholders including labour unions.

“Top government functionaries, traditional rulers, securiy agencies, market women and men, artisans, civil servants, political parties and the general residents.

“To that end, we also administered over 10,000 questionnaires across the 21 local govermment areas of the state in order to extend scope of and deepen our assessments. However, we must emphasize that this investigative etfort is by no means exhaustive.

“The parameters, pillars and sub-pillars for our investigations revolve around infrastructure, health, education, security, sports development, human capital development and others sectors. The ultimate goal of this Governance Assessment Report is strictly to assess the development strides in the state, engender the culture of public accountability and promote good governance.

“It is pertinent to note that this report was the product of objective, balanced and all inclusive engagements in line with multiplicities of sources applicable to investigative journalism.”

Presenting the details of the report, the guild said the Governor scored various points in various sectors, including a whopping 66.3% approval rating on his policies and programmes.

The President was however quick to make it clear that they could not capture government’s recent offsetting of several months arrears of the state workers due to the period that covered the investigation, it noted finding of chronic corruption within the state civil service.

The body said it understood that at the time of compiling the report, the government owed genuine civil servants five months in arrears.

The report also gave the Governor credit ratings in infrastructural development, improved security, health, education, youth empowerment, job creation among others.

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