The guys at the Nigerian startup called BudgIT have released an interesting web application today, and they are calling it “cutgovtwaste budget 2012 app”. While the name definitely sucks, the app itself is actually a great idea, it allows you cut Nigeria’s 2012 budget as you see fit and eliminate all the spending that is unnecessary, wasteful and just plain greedy in your opinion.
Çutting the budget is easy, the 2012 budget is represented as a labelled pie chart with colour coded segments. To start cutting, click on the your desired segment and scroll down. This takes you to a bar chart with sub-segments of the budget. Click on a bar (representing the area you want to cut from) and use the sliders in the budget adjustment module to reduce/increase the allocations for that segment. Repeat this for as many sections as you want. When you’re done your total budget cuts will be computed and saved. You can share your budget cutting feat with your friends on Twitter and Facebook.
However, just before you get too excited with the budget carving knives, there are a number of important caveats you should take note of. You are not to make cuts on debt servicing and Universal Basic Education. You should also be mindful that cuts on personnel costs means retrenchment of staff or cutting down of salaries and allowances. Budget cuts on overhead costs mean cuts on the running costs of ministries such as newspapers, meal tickets, security votes, furniture etc. Budget Cuts on capital expenditure mean cuts on infrastructural development, new and existing projects.
BudgIT says the reports generated by the app will be sent to government in an analytical format and an infographics will be published. Initial feedback suggests that while users are impressed, they wouldn’t mind if the developers would consider creating a mobile version too. I wouldn’t hold my breath on that though, considering how much extra work that would involve.
Kudos guys, very useful. The educational and practical potentials of this app are exciting, it’s not only a great way to learn about the dynamics of government spending, it’s also sheer genius to crowdsource intelligent budgetary perspectives that can inform the actions of a government that listens. And considering that we’re in a time when Nigerians are beginning to demand accountability in governance, this sure hasn’t come a moment too soon. Powered by Co-Creation Hub and EiENigeria, BudgiIT’s budget cutting app is another example of how technology can be applied to solve social and economic problems.
A little bit about the creators –
BudgIT serves as the bridge by using creative methods such as info-graphic displays on mobile and web pages to deliver Nigeria’s budgets to larger sections of the populace. We believe that in a democracy, every responsible tax payer has the right to know how his/her taxes are expended in the delivery of efficient public infrastructure and services.
Alright, head over to the app and get to cutting!