The Ministry of Finance, Monday, held a technical engagement with Financial and Parliamentary Journalists on the 2019 Budget Statement and Economic Policy, with a view to empowering them to better inform their various audiences on its components.
The engagement is an annual joint effort between the Ministry of Finance, the Institute of Financial and Economic Journalists (IFEJ) and the Parliamentary Press Corps.
Mr. Rayborn Bulley, President of IFEJ, said it was important for Journalists, beyond the reading of the Budget Statement in Parliament, to thoroughly peruse the document and to ensure they interrogated the issues raised.
He said this was even more important following the approval by Parliament of the Budget Document.
“Once the budget is finally approved by Parliament, I expect us, as Journalists, to take that document and actually peruse it, tease out the very important news that relate to the social, infrastructure development of people so that we can find out whether what is written in it is actually what is on the ground,” he said.
Mr. Christian Kpesese, an Executive Member of the Parliamentary Press Corps, who represented the President of the corps, also commended the Ministry for the opportunity for Journalists to learn.
He, however, urged them to open up next year’s engagement to cover other Journalists outside the two groups, particularly, morning show hosts.
He also noted that it would be important to have the Minister or any of his deputies at such engagements in order to address policy issues that the technocrats could not speak to.
Resource persons from the Ministry’s Technical Departments, who were involved in the crafting of the Budget, took the participants through the important highlights, explaining the technical components in order to allow members to better understand the concepts.
The Journalists asked the many questions to clear their minds of any challenges on their minds.