The Head of the Edo State Investment Promotion Office (ESIPO), Mr Kelvin Uwaibi has identified data as the lifeblood for Nigeria’s pursuit for economic diversification and development, noting that the state government was leveraging data analytics in making informed decisions on investment and development in the state. Uwaibi said this during the Open Data Engagement held in Benin City, organised by the state’s Information Communication Technology Agency (ICTA), in collaboration with the ESIPO and the state’s Department of Statistics. The event was held to commemorate the World Open Data Day. The ESIPO boss, who described open and accessible data as key to attracting development and investment, commended Governor Godwin Obaseki for his efforts in setting new standards with the innovations in the state.
He noted that the achievements of the Edo State Public Procurement Agency (PPA) and the ICTA since the coming of Governor Obaseki have repositioned the agencies for optimal performance. Kelvin said, “We thank Governor Obaseki for his positive innovations in driving development in Edo State. The essence of the innovations particularly in the application of Open Data is to guarantee the people access to information. That way, the government is acceptable to the people. For the development we seek, it is paramount that we operate an open system. That is why as a government, we are part of the Open Governance Partnership (OGP). We have one of the best PPAs and ICTAs in Africa.” Speaking earlier, the Managing Director, ICTA, Mr Lambert Ugorji, expressed appreciation to Governor Obaseki and the over 20 Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) that were represented at the engagement. He revealed the readiness of Governor Obaseki to take the state to greater heights using technology and innovations.
Noting that Edo Open Data was the first in Africa, Ugorji said, “Data is already becoming the next oil. In Edo, we must be able to harvest what we started in Africa. We thank Governor Obaseki because it is his style of leadership that is enabling us to be the best we are today.” Open Data Day is an annual celebration of open data all over the world. It serves as an opportunity to show the benefits of open data and encourage the adoption of open data policies in government, business and civil society.