Lagos, Nigeria, 13/2/2017: Nigeria’s leading transparency advocate and co-founder of BudgIT, Oluseun Onigbinde, will speak at renowned the United Kingdom-based think tank, Chatham House, on “Accountability through Innovation: How Transparency can strengthen governance”. The event, scheduled to hold at Chatham House London on February 22, 2017, is a convening of governments, the private sector, civil society and Chatham House members in open debate and confidential discussion on the most significant developments in international affairs. Previous Nigerians who have spoken at Chatham House include President Muhammadu Buhari, Governor Olusegun Mimiko and Col. Sambo Dasuki Rtd.
In a statement, Chatham House said: “A number of civil society organisations across Africa are finding new ways of presenting complex data in the form of intuitive infographics, allowing connected citizens to scrutinise public financial management and impacts of government policies and expenditure. Nigeria, a country where legislators are among the highest paid in the world, is at the forefront of this civil society-led drive for greater transparency in governance.”
Under Onigbinde’s leadership, BudgIT has worked to deepen access to the budget to over 1.2m Nigerians and tracks public projects in 14 states. His talk will form part of a debate on the efforts of his organisation at bringing down institutional opacity regarding the use of public funds and also cover the various innovative methods that have proven most successful in entrenching accountability in Nigeria.
As head of the only CSO in Africa’s most populous nation with a laser focus on the budget, Onigbinde is also expected to explore the potential of a wilful intersection of civic technology, data and design in driving accountability in Nigeria. The conversation is also supposed to explore the necessary conditions for expansion in socio-economic inclusion, in a petrol economy now widely known for mismanaging its vast oil revenues.
Founded in 2011, BudgIT is a civic organisation that applies technology to intersect citizen engagement with institutional improvement, to facilitate societal change. A pioneer in the field of social advocacy melded with technology, BudgIT uses an array of tech tools to simplify the budget and matters of public spending for citizens, with the primary aim of raising standards of transparency and accountability in government.
BudgIT also currently manages the Open Alliance Nigeria, a coalition of CSOs campaigning to ensure Nigeria achieves all commitment strands of the Open Government Partnership. The alliance co-developed a National Action Plan for Nigeria and continues to engage the government constructively on the OGP process. BudgIT has worked pro bono with public institutions including the National Assembly Budget and Research Office the, Kaduna State Government and the Nigerian Extractives Industries Transparency Initiative on transparency campaigns, creative design and reporting strategy development.
Onigbinde is a graduate of Engineering from the University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Nigeria, with further training at the Stanford University Graduate School of Business on Social Entrepreneurship. He is a recipient of the Ashoka Fellowship, The Future Africa Awards, Quartz Africa 30 Innovators Award, Aspen New Voices Fellowship and also sits on the ONE Africa Policy Advisory Board. He has worked with the International Center for Journalists/Gates Foundation on revamping health journalism in Niger