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Soludo’s spokesman, Aburime tackles Sahara Reporters over report on Anambra education budget

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Mr Christian Aburime, the spokesman of governor Chukwuma Charles Soludo of Anambra State has berated Sahara Reporters, an online media outlet for presenting a false report about the State’s budgetary allocation on education.

Sahara Reporters had reported that governor Chukwuma Soludo-led government approved the budget of N68.306 million for the maintenance of the state’s Lagos and Abuja liaison offices while it approved N46.2 million for the maintenance of 264 secondary schools across the state.

Breaking down the budgetary allocation in it’s report, Sahara Reporters said the state government allocated the sum of N26,131,116.59 to its Lagos liaison office and N42,175,319.86 to its Abuja liaison office, making a total of over N68 million, while it allocated a total sum of N46 million to 264 secondary schools across the state at N175,000 per school.

But reacting to this report in a statement, Christian Aburime said the news story by Sahara Reporters simply painted a distorted picture about the state’s genuine impact on education under governor Chukwuma Soludo.

He accused the media outlet of failing to uphold the sanctity of truth and fact-checking which is the hallmark of true journalism.

According to Aburime, Sahara Reporters claim that the Anambra state government allocated N68.306 million for the maintenance of its liaison offices in Lagos and Abuja, and budgeted the paltry sum of N46.2 million for education is nothing but a false narrative that will fall apart under scrutiny.

While dismissing Sahara Reporters claim, Aburime categorically noted that the Anambra State government’s budget for 2024, tagged “Changing Gears: The Transformation Agenda Begins,” allocated the whooping sum of N31.7 billion for the education sector.

This allocation, Aburime said reflects governor Soludo’s serious commitment to improving the educational infrastructure and human capital development in the state.

The statement reads, “In an era where information flows freely and swiftly, the onus on media outlets to uphold the sanctity of truth and fact-checking is greater than ever. Sadly, in its recent report, Sahara Reporters appears to have fallen short of this crucial responsibility.

“The said news story by Sahara Reporters meant to disparages Anambra State government’s 2024 budget allocation to education, painting a distorted picture that undermines the state’s genuine impact on education under Governor Chukwuma Soludo appears disturbing

“As a previously respected media channel that has now become a notorious cesspit of junk journalism, Sahara Reporters claimed that the Anambra State government allocated N68.306 million for the maintenance of its liaison offices in Lagos and Abuja, while ostensibly relegating a paltry N46.2 million for the maintenance of 264 secondary schools across the state. This narrative suggests a glaring neglect of education in favour of bureaucratic indulgence, but it is a false narrative that falls apart under scrutiny.

“The truth, as it stands, is different. The Anambra State government’s budget for 2024, tagged “Changing Gears: The Transformation Agenda Begins,” includes a robust allocation of N31.7 billion specifically for the education sector. This allocation reflects Governor Soludo’s serious commitment to improving the educational infrastructure and human capital development in Anambra State.

“In fact, a detailed look into the budget reveals a strategic and transformative agenda for education. For instance, a significant N364 million has been earmarked for the rehabilitation, development, and equipping of technical colleges, ensuring that vocational training is not left behind in the digital age for Anambra students.

“Also, a whopping N10 billion is dedicated to the renovation, construction, and equipping of smart schools in the state. This initiative aims to integrate technology into the learning process, preparing Anambra’s children for a future where digital literacy is paramount.

“On infrastructure maintenance, N500 million is allocated for the fencing of 40 secondary schools in the state, a critical measure for ensuring the safety and security of students. An additional N1 billion is set aside for supplementary funding to public secondary schools, addressing their unique challenges and needs.

“As one is baffled at the disingenuous cherrypicking of figures in the Anambra budget by Sahara Reporters, the foregoing substantial allocations to education highlight a Soludo government deeply invested in the future of its youth, contrary to the misleading portrayal by Sahara Reporters.

“The mischievous narratives by Sahara Reporters not only undermine the credibility of their reporting but also do a disservice to the public that deserves to be well informed. In an age where misinformation can easily gain traction, the role of journalists as gatekeepers of truth becomes even more vital. It is expedient for media entities to always engage in thorough fact-checking and present information in a balanced and accurate manner. Only socially irresponsible news outlets would disregard truthful reporting for sensational journalism as Sahara Reporters does these days.

“Yet, despite relentless unwarranted criticisms, Governor Soludo’s administration is a concrete proof of what visionary leadership can achieve in the sphere of education. Beyond budgetary allocations, the government has made education practically free by abolishing tuition fees across public schools, hired 8,115 qualified teachers so far, and distributed 2,000 laptops to teachers, a clear indication of a holistic approach to educational reform.

“Today, all this multi-pronged investment in education is already yielding tangible results. Anambra State boasts the lowest rate of out-of-school children in Nigeria at just 2.9%. Besides, Anambra’s students are participating and excelling at national and international academic competitions, bringing home prestigious awards and recognition.

“These achievements are not coincidences but rather the fruits of a well-thought-out strategy to elevate education in the state. Step by step, Governor Soludo’s focus on creating a generation of globally competitive and technologically adept students is setting Anambra apart as a model of educational excellence.

“In sum, while it is crucial to hold governments and public officials accountable, it is equally important for journalism to be rooted in facts and fairness. The Anambra State government’s 2024 budget is a comprehensive and forward-looking plan that places education at its core, reflecting a profound commitment to the development and empowerment of its youth. It is imperative that media outlets like Sahara Reporters adhere to the highest standards of integrity, ensuring that their narratives serve to inform and uplift, rather than mislead and misrepresent.

“As citizens and consumers of news, Nigerians must also always demand truth and responsibility from our media, recognising that in the quest for sustainable democracy and wholesome development, transparency and accurate reporting are our most valuable allies.”

 

 

 

 

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