BudgIT Foundation, a civic tech organisation in the advocacy for fiscal transparency and accountability, has launched its Open Nigerian States data portal. The Open States web portal was developed under the Rule of Law and Anti-corruption (RoLAC) programme, funded by the European Union, being implemented by the British Council in five states, namely; Adamawa, Anambra, Edo, Kano and Lagos. The portal aims to increase citizens’ access to state governments’ data, thereby aiding subnational transparency and accountability and assisting policy publishers in data preservation, through the extensive use of charts and articles to make policy-related data simple, meaningful and accessible for the public.
With this remarkable initiative, BudgIT has become the only organisation in Nigeria, to develop and launch a platform that goes beyond being just a repository of data, to completely support and reinforce subnational transparency.
BudgIT, in statement, said through Open data alliance, has been at the vanguard of the subnational transparency campaign in Nigeria since 2014.
The campaign it said encourages and supports states to sign up with the ideals of Open Government, foster and promote fiscal transparency, access to information, citizens’ participation and innovation needed for inclusive development and efficient service delivery by the government to its citizens.
BudgIT has gone beyond the five RoLAC states to develop this portal to accommodate all the 36 states in Nigeria with the hope that more states will embrace this path to inclusive governance and openness for socio-economic impact. More importantly, citizens now have a platform to make enquiries, report a problem, request for data and get feedback from their government through the portal.
Gabriel Okeowo, BudgIT’s Principal Lead, noted that BudgIT is ready to partner and work with state governments alongside the citizens to achieve a transparent fiscal system. This will be achieved by supporting the state governments to enlist their states on this National Open States web portal where states’ financial documents will be published for increased access and citizens’ participation in governance.
Full fiscal transparency is the State Governments’ responsibility, thus, BudgIT enjoins states to be bold and deliberate in their commitment to an open and inclusive government that encourages increased citizens’ confidence in government and foster economic development at the subnational level.