Omidyar Network and Gates Foundation invest $3 million in Nigeria’s BudgIT

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Omidyar Network, a philanthropic investment firm owned by Ebay founder, Pierre Omidyar  and the Gates foundation, owned by Bill Gates and his wife, have both invested a sum totaling about $3 million in Nigeria’s BudgIT, a startup committed to enhancing accountability and transparency of government and public institution’s spending. While Omidyar commits $1.5 million to BudgIT, the Gates foundation gave out an amount in excess of $1,4 million to the startup.

According to a release from Omidyar, the $1.5 million grant will help BudgIT ” grow its organizational capacity, especially at state level, and to expand its work with government and institutional stakeholders into Abuja.” Earlier in 2014, Omidyar had invested $400,000 in BudgIT.

The fund from the Gates foundation according to its website will be used to “increase the availability, profile and usability of budget data at the Federal and state level in Nigeria to improve public sector efficiency and service delivery for citizens.”

Speaking on the grants, BudgIT founder, Oluseun Onigbinde said:

“This investment in BudgIT by Omidyar Network is highly welcome as we work to scale access to information across all levels of education and socio-economic class on matters related to use of public funds. Systemic changes through the Open Government Partnership mechanism are also crucial to our work. We are glad Omidyar Network and other partners see this opportunity at this phase of our organization,”

 Since its inception in 2011, BudgIT has established itself as a premier government transparency organization in Nigeria through its work to make the budget more accessible to ordinary citizens, and to empower citizens to track public projects.


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