Mr. Oluseun Onigbinde, the founder of BudgIT, an information and technology-based civic organization, has urged government officials to maintain discipline and accountability in carrying out their duties.
Onigbinde gave the advice on Tuesday in Abuja, Nigeria, during the organization’s 10th anniversary of civic innovation and impact.
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He stated that such an attitude would inspire other citizens to adopt a culture of accountability and integrity in all their dealings, thereby adding enormous value to the country.
BudgIT, he claims, uses technology to connect citizens with institutions and facilitate societal change.
BudgIT, he said, was a pioneer in the field of social advocacy, using a variety of tech tools to simplify budgets and public spending issues for citizens to easily track.
Onigbinde stated that the organization was working to improve transparency and accountability in governance.
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“We work in close collaboration with civil society, public institutions, and the media, particularly in the areas of fiscal analysis, civic technology, and data visualization.
“BudgeIT’s methodology employs refined data mining skill sets to creatively represent data, and we empower citizens to use the resulting information to demand improved service delivery beyond budget access.”
He went on to say that BudgIT is based on the premise that budgets must serve the people.
” Most notable is our project-tracking tool (Tracka), which was developed in 2014.
” Tracka is now available in 20 states and allows Nigerians to post photos of development projects in their communities.
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“With BudgIT project officers assisting citizens offline in contacting their elected representatives.”
He stated that it aided people in requesting the completion of government projects in their neighborhoods.
BudgIT has reached over 4.85 million Nigerians through digital and physical spaces, according to the founder, and leads in online and offline conversations about government finances and public sector efficiency.
Onigbinde also revealed that the organization had received over 8,000 distinct data requests from private, corporate, and development entities and individuals.
“BudgIT is now widely recognized as a reliable source of public finance data in Nigeria.”
“Offline and on the ground, BudgIT works with partners in the public and private sectors to deliver programs that strengthen the capacity of its peers and willing government institutions.
“We collaborated with 42 civil society organizations to improve their digital outlook, policy analyses, and report presentation formats,” he added.
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The founder announced that they were currently testing Nigeria’s first Data Journalism platform in order to improve information dissemination.
BudgIT, he said, would continue to influence the national agenda on public spending, open governance, and anti-corruption and transparency initiatives.
Mr. Clem Agba, Minister of State for Budget and National Planning praised BudgIT for its initiatives that aligned with the Federal Government’s policy on transparency and accountability.
According to Agba, the government has also created a citizen’s guide to budgeting, planning, and development in order to improve access and understanding for all Nigerians.
He advised other civic organizations to work in collaboration with the government rather than acting as “attack dogs.”
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“Today’s government has inclusive and participatory roles for its citizens in order to achieve transparency, accountability, and progress,” he said.
According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), two former ministers, Mr Frank Nweke Jnr and Oby Ezekwesili, as well as Mr Kayode Fayemi, Chairman of the Nigerian Governors Forum and Governor of Ekiti, attended the event.