Group unveils App to track implementation of campaign promises

NV News

Ready To Lead Africa (RTLA), a Non Governmental Organization (NGO) has unveiled the ‘FollowThePromises’ web and mobile app aimed at tracking the implementation of campaign promises of elected officials, especially governors.

Speaking at the unveiling event on Friday in Abuja, the Global President, RTLA, Mr Godbless Otubure, said that the board of RTLA had begun a revolution by creating a form of e-governance and e-democracy in Nigeria.

According to him, the app is aimed at promoting transparency, accountability and citizenship participation in the socio-economic development in six states of the six geo-political zones in Nigeria.

He listed the pilot states as Sokoto, Akwa Ibom, Plateau, Ekiti, Gombe and Ebonyi.

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He said the event was to enlighten the public on the functionality of the app; revealing how government officials could be monitored to fulfill the promises made to their citizens upon election.

“Today, what we are doing here is the unveiling of the followthepromises mobile and web application.

“The goal is to track the promises made by governorship candidates during their last elections and for the last couple of months that they have been sworn in, we are following the promises that they made, vis a vis , their manifestos.’’

Otubure added that his team was working with people who lived in every local community of the six states to get factual data on the happenings in their local communities.

“We are working with people who live in every local government of these states.

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“Gone are the days when governors finish their tenure and then come up with a document of what they have done.

“This time, every day, the people who live in these communities are constantly updating us through our mobile apps; tracking everything that these governors are doing in the states.’’

He said the data would be provided by people living in different communities in the local government areas.

“The data is not provided by the government but by people in the community who are everyday users.

“For example there is a particular community that has not seen power for 28 years in the South-South, an oil rich state; there is a particular local government in the southwest, they have not seen power for eight years.

“The government does not give us this information; the people did.

“The app is very user friendly; so, the trust is there; we did not just wake up to build an app; we travelled to those communities by road, air; we ate and slept with the people in those communities.

“People traveled from every local government area to come and meet us in the capitals so the people that we are working with are not people that were just randomly selected.

“There are people from every local government; that is why our data is not coming from only one local government but all local government areas in the six states–119 people trained so far.’’

He said that the beneficiaries had gone back to train more people who would help to increase the numbers.

Otubure said that importance of a technology in enabling accountable governance could not be overemphasised

“For us, it is important to be able to have this level of technology be used to sustain democracy and improve citizens engagement and participation in governance,’’ he said

According to him, the innovation has come to improve the existing version of democracy in Nigeria by bridging the gap and placing emphasis on accountability in governance.

On his part, Peter Burba, the Chief Launcher/ First Secretary, Embassy of the U.S., said that the initiative was a good one and expanding it to other states would go a long way to increasing transparency across all states of the nation.

“I think it is definitely a very intriguing idea; work in practice is something monitoring and evaluation is required; the idea is intrinsically very interesting and hopefully it will increase scrutiny and transparency.

“I think if officials present realistic budgets and make realistic statements, people will have an understanding of how institutions function and I think that will definitely promote more feat in democratic institutions,’’ he said.

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