Social media liberalising citizens’ access to Government information — BudgIT

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Lagos  –  The Operations Lead Manager of BudgIT, Mr Stanley Achonu, on Tuesday said that the social media have liberalised the way citizens gain access to Government information.
Achonu said this during a session hosted by BudgIT, at the ongoing Social Media Week (SMW) in Lagos.
He spoke on the topic, ”Access Nigeria: Connecting Citizens to Government Using Technology”.
According to him, technology has increased citizens’ engagement with the Government and Government’s engagement with the citizens.
”Technology has liberalised access to information. Before now, the only people who could put out information are the newspaper and broadcast houses.
”Right now, you can go on twitter, you can go on Facebook, you can go on YouTube and put out information and it can be available to even a wider reach than the newspaper can reach.
”So we believe that technology has simplified the process in a way, such that anyone can now take advantage of the social media to put out information,” he said.
Achonu said that budgIT had used technological platforms to get Nigerians engaged with Government and its agencies.
He said that there were websites like www.picc.com.ng; www.findacop.com.ng, which enabled Nigerians to engage with the Government and happenings within Government.
www.picc.com.ng – the Public Interest in Corruption Cases (PICC), is an initiative aimed at citizens’ participation in governance and understanding the dynamics of corruption in Nigeria,” Achonu said.
According to him, BudgIT is a civil organisation driven to make the Nigerian budget and public data more understandable and accessible across every literacy span.
He added that BudgIT’s innovation within the public circle came with the creative use of government data, by either presenting these in simple tweets, interactive formats or infographic displays.
Achonu said that the organisation had a goal to use creative technology to intersect civic engagement and institutional reforms.
Mr Medard Ehimika, the Head, Public Interface, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), said that the commission was active on the social media, through which it engaged the public.
Ehimika said that the commission recognised the fact that the world was now a global village, hence, fully engaged with people real-time.
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”We have created an auto-response system to respond to people’s issues concerning the commission,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that SMW is the largest technology-based, new media and business conference on the continent of Africa.
With attendees from across Africa and around the world, SMW Lagos explores a wide range of topics including education, business, travel, entertainment, technology, arts, banking and politics. (NAN)

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