The sector called social /civic enterprise is not one that is especially heralded in these parts but it ironically does more for the socio-political circumstances of countries like Nigeria. That is why start-ups like BudgIT have captured the imagination of both tech community and civic society. The outfit is a testament to the growth of the tech hub that Lagos has been in the past ten years or so as it began as a pet project at Co-Creation Hub.
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At face value, many may not be even remotely aware of the value they provide in what they do but they have generally been of great help in advancing civic awareness especially in this day and age of social media. Thanks to the use of social media, BudgIT’s Tracka has been able to tap into the potentials of the Freedom of Information Bill (2010) by monitoring public budgets and financial commitments and their performance in the fiscal year across different tiers of government. The impact on the new drive to hold government accountable has been stellar. Tracka remains BudgIT’s flagship product with presence in 20 states allowing citizens to aid in the data gathering process. It has reached nearly five million individuals and has been able to catch the attention of over 42 different civil society groups.
Interestingly, BudgIT built Buharimeter, a mobile portal for monitoring how well President Buhari lived up to campaign promises. They later got commissioned to build a similar solution for the Kaduna State Government.
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The revenue model is built around selling data to private corporations and government agencies such as the Ministry of Budget and Planning. The Yaba based outfit has found a way to integrate statistics, journalism, graphic design, photography and civil society in a bid to advance the public good. Established in 2011, the start-up places a premium on citizen engagement on social media, facilitating the work of media houses and civic society, as well. By 2019, BudgIT had raised over 5 million dollars from Co-Creation Hub, Omidyar Network and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
the start-up continues to be led by Oluwaseun Onigbinde (CEO) and Joseph Agunbiade (CTO) who happen to be co-founders. They came up with the idea in hackathon when they sought to create a portal that would hold government and public agencies to account. It eventually got spun off into BudgIT.
Featured Image Source: This Day Live
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