Minister of State, Budget and National Planning, Prince Clem Ikanade Agba, has justified the development and planned deployment of the “Eye-Mark Web Application” in tracking, monitoring and evaluating execution of development projects embarked upon by the Federal Government countrywide.
Agba said that the GRID 3 geo-spatial technology, which is domiciled in the Monitoring and Evaluation Department in the Planning Arm of the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, would ensure transparency and integrity in projects execution through citizen participation.
He spoke in Abuja when he received a draft policy document on National Monitoring and Evaluation (M & E), which is a tool to measure results and link evaluation evidence to policy, planning and budgeting processes to promote public accountability and learning for improved performance.
The document, which is the first draft policy on M & E in Nigeria, was developed by a tripartite team comprising Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) and Nigeria Association of Evaluators.
Agba said that government would henceforth not only “earmark money” for development projects but also “eye-mark” the progress of work in the execution of such projects nationwide as captured in the budget.
He stated that the intent of the “eye-mark web app” was to use geo-spatial technology to monitor the progress of all projects that are layered on the Nigerian map with the longitudes and latitudes of the projects clearly indicated.
According to him, whereas Ministries, departments and Agencies were involved in their monitoring and evaluation, the National M & E would deploy the “eye-mark web app” in correlating evaluation claims and reports.
The minister said that the country was big and therefore the “eye-mark web application on the GRID 3 technology was to help to facilitate the process of robust and effective projects monitoring and evaluation.
The application, according to Agba, would serve as a platform where citizens could upload pictures/records on the progress of work regarding various projects in their jurisdictions in such a way that nobody can file in false or defective evaluation and monitoring reports/claims.
This, he said, would ensure that integrity and accountability were maintained in handling government business while building citizenship trust in government’s policies and programmes.
Agba commended the team that presented the draft National Monitoring and Evaluation Policy for its effort, adding that he would look at, make necessary input into the document, and present it to the National Economic Council (NEC), before its final submission to the Federal Executive Council (FEC), for approval.
He told the team that the Medium-Term National Development Plans (MTNDPs 2021-2025 & 2026-2030) and the Nigeria Agenda 2050 currently being developed, extensively encouraged the institutionalization of M & E in Nigeria’s development process because “what is not monitored is not done.”
President, Nigeria Association of Evaluators, Dr Uzodinma Aderieje, had earlier commended the Minister for supporting and acknowledging the place of evaluation in development process, stressing that “development process is nothing without evaluation.”
Also, the Evaluation Manager, UNICEF-Nigeria, Dr Robert Ndamobissi, pointed out that the document would help in establishing a national accountability framework, which would enable the country demonstrate its political will to play its role as the giant of Africa.
Ndamobissi further reiterated UNICEF’s resolve to develop large partnerships with governments round the world, towards achieving good governance and accountability.
“This framework, it is hoped, would make Nigeria one of the strongest developing economies in the world,” he stated.