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Open data policies critical to national development – NGO

By Ruth Oketunde [NAN]

19

Mr. Wilson Atumeyi, Chief Executive Officer, Water with Development (WaterWide), an NGO, has said that open data policies in government, businesses and civil societies was critical to national development.

Atumeyi stated this at an event organised to commemorate the 2021 Open Data Day on Friday in Abuja.

The event was organised in collaboration with Open Knowledge Foundation and Connected Development.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the event is annually marked on March 6, to celebrate open data all over the world.

NAN further reports that it is also a day set aside to show the benefits of open data and encourage the adoption of open data policies in government, business and civil society.

“It is important to have access to data as it would encourage transparency and accountability when discussing the use of existing Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) data in the country.

“Open data is the idea that some data should be freely available to everyone to use and republish as they wish, without restrictions from copyright, patents or other mechanisms of control.

“This event is organised to discuss the realities of WASH data in Nigeria like data that speaks to the issue of one in 10 people not having access to safe water and facilities,” he said.

Atumeyi said the organisation was looking at creating dialogues on how to breach the gap of transparency and accountability.

He said its priority was to ensure that citizens engage in governance and government processes.

He said lack of access to information is one of the key things that hinder citizens’ participation in governance and ensuring transparency and accountability as well as curbing corruption at large.

“We are using this event to conscientise citizens and organisations on how to better use data to ensure transparent and accountability government,” he added.

Atumeyi added that his organisation would continue to advocate for improved access to clean water, improved sanitation and proper hygiene in rural communities. (NAN)

 


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