The accountability group, BudgIT has commenced monitoring of capital projects in 16 states of the federation, using the tracking device developed by the company to monitor projects lined up in budgets.
The Project Manager of BudgIT, Mrs Abiola Afolabi, made the announcement in Lagos on Monday, when the company hosted the Science and Technology Desk of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
She said the goal of the project monitoring was to ensure accountability and transparency and to ensure that the goals for which projects were initiated were achieved.
According to her, the monitoring is currently going on in Kogi, Ogun, Oyo, Kano, Edo, Delta, Anambra, Kaduna, Niger, Gombe, Lagos, Ondo, Imo, Cross River, Kebbi and Jigawa.
Afolabi said the monitoring would be extended to four additional states to ensure that every geo-political zone was covered.
The manager said the company had also deployed project tracking officers to monitor the progress of constituency projects across states of the federation.
She said that the goal of the tracking was to sensitise Nigerians on the need to monitor the implementation of projects taking place in their communities to make government accountable.
“Monitoring budgetary allocation will not only make government accountable but also ensure that citizens enjoy the dividends of democracy.’’
She described information technology as a veritable tool to monitor budget allocations in different constituencies in the country.
“BudgIT has created a social platform known as Tracka to assist citizens to track capital projects meant for their communities in the budget.
“Tracka assists citizens to keep government and elected officials on their toes by demanding implementation of non-implemented capital projects.
“It seeks to address a lack of access of citizens to the information of budget formulation and execution in Nigeria and aims to empower citizens to demand transparency and accountability.
Afolabi noted that the re-occurrence of capital projects listed and not executed in successive budgets often deepened the spirit of exclusion of people.
“The Tracka platform is layered on open data, making people aware of their civic duties, to share photos, videos, documents and post comments on existing projects.’’
According to her, the group has tracked 365 capital projects from conception to delivery since the inception of the company in 2014.
She said that the group had monitored some capital projects, including roads, schools, hospitals, boreholes and street lights from beginning to completion.
Afolabi said that Tracka had been using the social media to disseminate information to digital citizens and people at the grassroots.
“Citizen to government engagement in Nigeria remains low, due to traces of past military rule in which autocratic regimes keep the populace in obscurity about data and acts of public governance.
“However, with democracy, citizens can freely demand what the funds allocated to their communities are being used for.
The leader of the NAN team, Mr Silas Nwoha, lauded BudgIT for the successes it had recorded in its short span of existence.
He said that the visit accorded the NAN team an opportunity to understand the operations and aspirations of the company.
Nwoha said that institutions like BudgIT were relevant in promoting the anti-graft campaign of the Federal Government. (NAN)