Mr Oluseun Onigbinde, Founder BudgIT, an Information and Technology based civic organisation, has urged government functionaries to sustain discipline and accountability in the discharge of their responsibilities.
Onigbinde gave the advice on Tuesday in Abuja during the organisation’s 10th anniversary of civic innovation and impact in Nigeria.
He said that such attitude would encourage other citizens to imbibe the culture of accountability and integrity in all their dealings, thereby adding immense value to the country.
According to him, BudgIT applies technology to intersect citizens’ engagement with institutions, to facilitate societal change.
He said as a pioneer in the field of social advocacy, BudgIT used array of tech tools to simplify budgets and matters of public spending, for citizens to easily track.
Onigbinde noted that the organisation was focused on raising standard of transparency and accountability in governance.
“We are in constant partnership with civil society, public institutions and the media, chiefly in the areas of fiscal analyses, civic technology and data representation.
“BudgIT’s methodology is deploying refined data mining skillsets to creatively represent data, and we empower citizens to use the resulting information in demanding improved service delivery beyond budget access.”
He further said that BudgIT functions on the premise that budgets must work for the people.
“Most emblematic is our project-tracking tool (Tracka), created in 2014.
“Tracka is now functional in 20 States, and allows Nigerians post pictures of developmental projects in their communities.
“With BudgIT’s project officers aiding citizens offline to communicate with their elected representatives.”
He said that it helped the people to demand for completion of government projects in their neighbourhoods.
The founder pointed out that BudgIT had reached over 4.85 million Nigerians via digital and physical spaces, and leads in online and offline conversations on government finances and public sector efficiency.
Onigbinde disclosed that the organisation also had over 8,000 unique data requests from private, corporate and development entities and individuals.
“BudgIT is now widely regarded as a trusted hub for public finance data in Nigeria.
“Offline, and on the ground, BudgIT collaborates across the public-private sectors to deliver programs that shore up the capacity of its peers and willing government institutions.
“We have worked with 42 civil society organizations to revamp their digital outlook, policy analyses and report presentation formats,” he added.
The founder announced that they were currently experimenting with Nigeria’s first Data Journalism platform to enhance information dissemination.
According to him, BudgIT would continue to influence national agenda on public spending, open governance, and analyses of anti-corruption and transparency initiatives.
The Minister of State, Budget and National Planning, Mr Clem Agba commended BudgIT for its initiatives which were in tandem with the Federal Government policy on transparency and accountability.
According to Agba, government has also developed a citizen’s guide to budget, planning and development, to ensure better accessibility and understanding for all Nigerians.
He advised other civic organisations to operate in partnership with the government rather than being “attack dogs”.
“Today’s government has inclusive and participatory roles for its citizens for transparency, accountability and progress,” he noted.
It was reported that the event was attended by two former ministers, Mr Frank Nweke Jnr and Oby Ezekwesili, as well as Mr Kayode Fayemi, Chairman Nigerians Governors Forum and Governor of Ekiti.