BudgIT as an idea was conceptualised and hacked at the Tech-In-Governance, a 48 hour gathering organised by Co-Creation Hub in February 2011. BudgIT as a tool aims to redefine participatory governance. Many Nigerians, with little or no knowledge of accounting and public financial management, are lost when they see (if they ever get the chance to) the budgets of the different arms of government. Most media releases of the Nigerian budget only have the macro figures as the finer details that trickle down to the citizens such as neighbourhood projects are not fully explained. The maze of millions and billions in the “thick” budget documents tend to confuse and it is difficult to put clear context on how public funds are actually spent.
BudgIT’s innovation within the public circles comes with a creative use of government data by either presenting them in simple tweets, interactive format or infographic displays. We believe that in a democracy, every citizen has the right to know how his/her taxes are expended in the delivery of public infrastructure and services. Equality and open access to governance is entrenched in democracy and its institutions and as such, budgetary information as a vital asset needs to be understandable and accessible to all Nigerians. BudgIT offers mobile and online solution to trigger discussions around the budget and take the budget beyond a news item to a focal point of debate among Nigerians.