Onigbinde, BudgIT CEO, to speak at Chatham House on transparency ‘innovation’

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Oluseun Onigbinde, co-founder and CEO of BudgIT, a civic organisation for transparency in governance, is billed to speak at renowned UK-based think tank, Chatham House.

Onigbinde will be speaking 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; Olusegun Mimiko, governor of Ondo state and more recently, Babatunde Fashola, minister of power, works and housing.

Fashola at Chatham House

Fashola at Chatham House, August 2016

Speaking to Onigbinde’s invitation, the think-tank said “a number of civil society organizations across Africa are finding new ways of presenting complex data in the form of intuitive infographics, allowing connected citizens to scrutinize 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 of the budget to over 1.2 million Nigerians and tracks public projects in 14 states.

His talk is expected to form part of a debate on the efforts of his organization 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 expected to explore the necessary conditions for an expansion in socio-economic inclusion, in a petro-economy now widely known for mismanaging its vast oil revenues.

Founded in 2011, BudgIT is a civic organization that applies technology to intersect citizen engagement with institutional improvement, to facilitate societal change.

As one of the pioneers 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 government constructively on the OGP process.

BudgIT has worked pro bono with government 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 Nigeria.

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