Ini Billie, Uyo
Niger-Delta Open Observatory (NOGO) has launched its NOGO – Portal, where citizens in the nine Niger Delta states can access open government data sets and information.
The NOGO portal which utilizes technology to enhance Open Government Partnership (OGP) where open government data can be collected with verification and approval was developed with technical support and funding by SCALE-USAID.
Speaking on Wednesday in Uyo during the unveiling of the portal, Executive Director, Policy Alert, Mr Tijah Bolton and leader of the NOGO cluster, said citizens of states in the Niger Delta can access useful information that can be used to engage and hold their leaders accountable especially with regards to the development deficit in the region despite the huge oil revenue they have received.
“NOGO cluster in the last nine months has been working assiduously in pushing for subnational governments in the Niger Delta to uptake and fully implement Open Government Partnership.
“With the region bedevilled by corruption and abject poverty, the need to empower citizens with the right information to demand for accountability, transparency, citizen participation and the use of technological advancement in the governance process was significant, thus the NOGO-Portal emerged.
“The availability of the yearly budget, fiscal laws, implementation reports and qualitative information provides citizens with the right information to interrogate and demand transparency, accountability, thereby fostering citizens participation across the Niger Delta, are the key tenets of OGP demands,” he stated.
Bolton mentioned that the portal has the potential to aid procurement processes and its alignment, and encouraged citizens of the region to actively engage with the platform, saying data sharing is important in advocating for transparency and accountability.
Giving an overview of the Open Niger Delta Web Portal, Director of Programmes, Policy Alert, Mr Koko, explained that the portal would serve as a repository of information covering areas such as Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH), Health, Agriculture, and revenues.
On his part, Tony Onuk, Director, Roothub and NOGO cluster member stated that updates were still ongoing on the portal in line with global standards, noting that the portal allows anyone to upload information subject to admin review before approval.
He mentioned that the portal features public and private sections and distinguishes data from verified sources, adding that it includes a print button for easy document access and tracks usage statistics.