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CSO urges govt to create accessible data ecosystem

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ED, CISLAC, Auwal Musa Rafsanjani

Executive Director, Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC)/ Transparency International, Nigeria, Mr. Auwal Ibrahim Musa (Rafsanjani), has urged government to create a data ecosystem where citizens can easily access information and document about government spending and its activities.

In a statement, yesterday, he stated that Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) should fully appreciate the potential benefits of having fully functional websites and embracing open data principles.

Speaking at the event on the official release of the 2019/2020 federal government scorecard for ranking websites of federal Ministries, Departments And Agencies (MDAs), Musa noted that in 2014, the G20’s Anti-corruption Working Group (ACWG) established open data as one of the issues that merit particular attention in the promotion of public sector transparency and integrity priority area.

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“The expectations that open data might serve as a strategic tool for reformers around the world to improve anti-corruption and accountability results has been a key driver behind the push by open data advocates for more and better open government data.

“The underlying theory is simple: open data can reinforce anti-corruption efforts by strengthening transparency, increasing trust in governments, and improving public sector integrity and accountability by reinforcing the rule of law through dynamic citizen participation, engagement, and multi-stakeholder collaboration. We would like to commend the government in our collective agenda to promote transparency and accountability towards a people-oriented development.”

The CISLAC boss hoped that in line with the vision of the recently updated National Strategy for Public Service Reforms (NSPSR) that public institutions would be able to deliver tangible services through prompt and proactive disclosure of information to achieve a world class Public Service by 2025.

Musa observed that improved citizens’ access to government websites for information that is useful, timely, informative, and up-to-date, has its benefits for the government and its citizens.

“Industries collect, process and resell open data from the United States government. The US government weather data is the base of an industry, which generates $30 billion annually. The GPS data is the base of an industry estimated to generate $90 billion annually.

He noted that while a number of government websites may be accessible, but information-deficient; there are also many frustrating, under optimised, information-rich government websites which are difficult to find on the Internet.

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