From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari, on Wednesday, before the commencement of the Federal Executive Council meeting, launched the National Monitoring and Evaluation platform, EYEMARK, for citizens to adequately and closely monitor projects executed by government.
He launched the project monitoring website (www.eyemark.ng) with its accompanying mobile app at the council chambers of the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
According to the President, the federal government can no longer depend on its handful of Monitoring and Evaluation teams to oversee the vast number of infrastructure projects spread nationwide.
According to him, it only makes sense to set up suitable channels for citizen scrutiny given that his administration has invested more in infrastructure projects than any previous government before it.
This, he said, will close the existing gaps and promote citizens’ participation in governance.
The President also blamed poor implementation of infrastructure projects across the country on corruption.
Buhari said with EYEMARK, “the status of projects, total amount appropriated and dispensed so far are now available in the public space.”
He urged Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to cooperate with the coordinating ministry, Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning to avail th required information to be captured on the platform.
Earlier in his address, the Minister of State, Budget and National Planning, Clem Agba, explained that the EYEMARK will empower citizens and Civil Society Organisations to monitor capital projects realtime to promote accountability.
Agba pointed out that the platform makes use of a sizable network of citizens who can keep an eye on initiatives in their communities, warning however, that relying on the public comes with the risk of misinformation. He therefore, added that EYEMARK has been equipped with spatial technology to track images and to ascertain their origins.
“If a user is in Kaduna, we can determine the authenticity of the reviews. And we can know if the image was uploaded from the location the user claimed it was sent from,” he explained.
The Minister also revealed that the website and its accompanying app was developed by Nigerians of the average age of 24, with inputs from stakeholders and industry experts.
The council before going into closed door meeting, observed a minute silence for late Demola Seriki, who was a former Minister of Agriculture and Water Resoursces under the Umaru Yar’Adua administration.
Before his death on December 15, Seriki, 63, was Nigeria’s Ambassador to Spain.
In attendance were Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Secretary to the Goverment of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, Chief of Staff to the President, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, and Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Dr Folashade Yemi-Esan.
Also physically attending the meeting are Ministers of Finance, budget and national planning, Dr Zainab Ahmed; Works and Housing Babatunde Fashola; Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami; Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed; Aviation, Hadi Sirika; Sports and Youth Development, Sunday Dare; Science and Technology, Olorunimbe Mamora; Police Affairs, Maigari Dingiyadi.
Others are Minister of States for Budget and National Planning, Clem Agba; Environment Sharon Ikeazor and Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva.
Joining virtually are the Ministers of Education Adamu Adamu; Communications and Digital Eonomy, Isa Pantami; Defence, Bashir Magashi; Mines and Steel Development, Olamilekan Adegbite; and his state counterpart Sen. Gbemisola Saraki; Humanitarian Affairs Disaster Management, Social Development, Sadiya Farouq; Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama; Industry, Trade and Investment (State) Maryam Katagum.