By Nwakaego Alajemba
The Kaduna Sate government has signed up to implement an open budgeting system for the state in what would potentially allow citizens to keep track of public earnings and expenditures via their mobile phones. It will be a first in Nigeria where citizens are routinely kept out of how government spends public funds.
FinTech startup, BudgIT, announced this publicly via its web window: http://techpoint.ng/kaduna-government-signs-budgit-to-build-open-budget-mobile-portal/.
Under the deal which is at no cost to the state government, FinTech startup, BudgIT will develop an open budgeting system for the state. The platform will enable citizens to monitor policies, budgets, procurement records and status of fund release via their mobile phones.
The system will improve transparency and accountability in a country notorious for abuse of public funds by state official.
An official in Kaduna State Government House who spoke to IT Edge News at the weekend said the “government under Mallam Nasir el Rufai believes the beginning of change is how government is open and transparent enough with the electorates on the state of public funds. Government must demonstrate accountability to win trust.”
Kaduna State has about 6.3 million people (Nigerian census figure, 2006). It’s capital is the highly cosmopolitan Kaduna City populated by diverse people across Nigeria.
“Following the success of the recent elections, generally regarded as the most free and fair since June 12, 1993, Nigeria has seen a rise in the level of civic consciousness of the average citizen. People are asking more questions and expecting more accountability than social and traditional media can handle.
“As a response, in the weeks following the elections which Muhammadu Buhari emerged winner, BudgIT released the Buharimeter, to much delight of the general public. The solution, no doubt, got the attention of Kaduna state governor, Mallam El-Rufai, who has now signed BudgIT’s to build something similar for his state,” said promoters of the BudgIT in their official press release.
BudgIT recently graduated as a pioneer in the Co-creation Hub’s incubation programme, raising over $400,000 in funding. The Kaduna state Open Budget project is expected to kick off within the next three months.