Nigerians urged to utilize govt’s financial portals in holding officials accountable

IN a bid to ensure transparency and accountability by government ministries, agencies and departments, Nigerians have been charged to take full advantage of the different data platforms provided by government and civil society organizations.

The charge was made by Joshua Olufemi, the founder of DATAPHYTE,  while featuring on a radio program, PUBLIC CONSCIENCE produced by the Progressive Impact Organization for Community Development (PRIMORG).

Accompanied by Paul Adeyeye, a Research Analyst at DATAPHYTE,  Olufemi said the aim of his organisation is to provide data for civil society organisation, activists, journalists, and others to do their work better.

It will be recalled that the Federal Government had launched Transparency Policy and Open Treasury Portal, as well as Nigeria Open Contracting Portal (NOCOPO) to enable citizens to have access to information on government’s activities.

According to Olufemi, the two portals were designed to foster accountability in MDAs, explaining that while Open Treasury portal provides payment information, NOCOPO portal takes care of procurement information.

Highlighting some of the importance of using data in Nigeria’s war against corruption, Paul Adeyeye said that data is very essential for government planning, promote transparency and anti-corruption fight, and help citizens to be aware of government projects and programmes.

    He, however, stressed that these platforms will aid the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission, (ICPC) and Bureau of Public Procurement, (BPP) in carrying out their mandate.

    Similarly, Okhiria Agbonsuremi, a co-anchor of the programme and the Executive Director of PRIMORG,  stressed the need for citizen’s involvement in monitoring government platforms where spendings and procurements are published from the comfort of their homes and raising questions when necessary.

    “As citizens, if we do not participate in governance, then we let the government and civil servants run the show and whatever we get is what we have,” Agbonsuremi noted.

    PUBLIC CONSCIENCE is produced by PRIMORG with support from the MacArthur Foundation.

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