Affail Monney
Dr. Roland Affail Monney

He said here at the Bagabaga College of Education in Tamale during a week tour of oil projects in the three regions of northern Ghana by members of PIAC and the Institute of Financial and Economic Journalists (IFEJ).

Affail Monney
Dr. Roland Affail Monney
“As far as our monitoring role is concerned, I will say without any fear of contradiction or hesitation that it is below the mark, we have not done well in terms of monitoring so this should push us to do more; this should motivate us because some people are so dependent on what we say and what we put out there and you don’t expect the ordinary tax payer to go to the site and report on what is happening.

We have been mandated, we have the power, we have the means; sometimes it’s just a matter of prioritizing our priorities, there are so many issues which are chasing us; there are so many issues which we should not relegate to the background; issues of monitoring because monitoring is of outmost importance,” the GJA president stressed.

Dr. Monney emphasized the weeklong tour to the three regions in the north to inspect projects purported to have been funded with oil revenue was quite revealing.

He said, “In fact this trip has been an eye opening one and it reinforces the need for journalists to activate their follow-up machinery and the spirit of comprehensive journalism.

Comprehensive journalism shows us how to do it. It is not a matter of reinventing the wheel; it is a matter of doing just what we’ve been trained to do and that is following up on projects and giving feedback and regular progress reports for shortcomings to be rectified. Under comprehensive journalism, once you do a story, you don’t go to bed, you don’t go to sleep; you follow it up to its logical conclusion.

Once these projects were captured either in the budget or any policy statement, it is up to journalists not only to report in the first day it was announced but to go to the sites where the projects are expected to be put up and then monitor the progress of these projects because we don’t expect the generality of the public to be doing that. It is our duty to at all times ensure we fulfill our mandate of accountability.”

The GJA President urged journalists not to allow politicians and people in authority to make statements and get away with them but rather subject such pronouncements to serious scrutiny saying, “We have been mandated to hold to account people in positions of power and authority and we can do so by squaring what they have said against the reality on the ground.

We will impress upon our people to activate this machinery and ensure at all times that politicians do not get away sometimes with murder. We have the monitoring machinery and we have the means to ensure that we match their words against their deeds.” Endtem.

Source: Francis Tandoh, Tamale/NewsGhana.com.gh

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