Civil Society News How BudgIT is using Technology To Ask for Fiscal...

How BudgIT is using Technology To Ask for Fiscal Transparency – BudgIT Principal Lead

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Principal Lead of BudgIT, Gabriel Okeowo, has explained how the civic tech organization is employing the use of technology to holding government accountable and ensuring fiscal transparency in the country.

Gabriel said BudgIT uses an array of tech tools to simplify budget and data, public finance data, from the process of budget proposal to budget approved and to even budget implementation reports, and all other public finance data reports that are useful for citizens and government.

He added that BudgIT also helps people to have access to the budgets, helps them understand it and use same to engage government and their elected officials.

He posited that the work of BudgIT is “important and relevant to Nigeria because as at 2011, 2012, when the company started, access to public finance data were like sacred activities that not every citizen have access to.”

He continued, “The BudgIT idea is that budget document is the most important document after the constitution of the nation.”

He reflected on Tracka, one of the projects BudgIT embarked on in holding the government accountable and sensitizing the people on how to hold their political representatives accountable.

Gabriel said, “I will talk about our impact under the Tracka project for example. Tracka itself is a platform we use to sensitize and educate citizens about projects that government is planning to do around them and they are expected to use that information to ensure that those projects are implemented and their elected officials are accountable to them.

“We have seen instances where this has really yielded very positive results for us. There was an instance in Sokoto State where a primary healthcare center and patients were seen receiving treatment under a tree. Imagine someone being treated for malaria right there in open space receiving drips, drugs, and injections. When we looked closely, we realized that there was a budget for the renovation and equipping of that healthcare service center.

“We took that story up and made it available to the public, we when after the elected official of that community, and made him accountable. We empowered the citizens and they also raised their voice.

“At the end of the day, the budget was implemented, the healthcare centre was renovated and equipped. Today, citizens in that community have access to quality healthcare.”

The Principal Lead of BudgIT stressed that building a stronger societies is aggregating the noise, bringing everybody to form the message that our leaders can listen to and can act upon.

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