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Today’s topic is a progressive one as something juicy happened over the weekend on the social media space. Sometimes, people start up a project without necessarily having a selfish gain in mind. Over time, the dream becomes bigger than what was initially thought of and it becomes progressive like every other dream. Today, I will be sharing the recent major leap of a tech co-founder into the world of politics.

BudgIt was created as an advocate for open data. It sought to keep the government accountable when it came to taxpayers money by providing simplified forms of government budgets, both Federal and State, from the technical documents in which they are shared so that the ordinary Nigerian can have enough information to hold the elected officials to account.

Seun Onigbinde co-created the organization in 2011, alongside Joseph Agunbiade, after leaving his job in banking to build a startup. He worked with several state government who adopted the ideals of the organization and embraced accountability.

Recently, the BudgIT co-founder accepted a technical advisory role with the Federal Ministry of Budget and National Planning of Nigeria. According to the news break on his Medium account, Seun Onigbinde shared that his new role is being underwritten by an international development agency for an initial period of six months. Describing the job description, he said:

“In a technical advisory role, I shall be supporting the Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Prince Clem Agba, along with the issues of budget reform, development planning, and revenue growth… It is similar to a task Joseph Agunbiade (my BudgIT co-founder) and I worked on in 2013-14, under the DFID-FEPAR programme for the National Assembly Budget and Research Office.”

– Seun Onigbinde

Before this news, one might say the co-founder knew something could change as he took a 10-month operational break last year to attend the Obama Foundation Scholars Programme at Columbia University, New York leaving the CEO position to be handled by the former GM Operations, Gabriel Okeowo. Upon returning in May 2019, he did not resume his previous role as the CEO of BudgIT. It is safe to say that the Scholars Programme was intended to empower him for his new role. 

In spite of the several trolling at him on Twitter, Seun in his Medium post clearly stated that he will remain loyal to his values. He promised to constantly review the objectives that he has set for his new appointment while providing updates as it proceeds. 

According to him, this new role is one of the several distinct elements towards accelerating the long-term objectives of the company he co-founded 8 years ago.

In a twist of fate, few days after his appointment, Seun resigned from the position of Technical Adviser to the Minister of State for Budget and National Planning to continue in his startup as the Director. Still through his Medium account, he announced his resignation without definite reasons except it was not a result of the controversy on social media.

One question that keeps coming up in my mind is – are there more opportunities for major leaps for startup founders from techpreneurs to politicians?

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Connect Nigeria

Techpoint Africa

Featured image source: PM News

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This article was first published on 20th September 2019


Aanuoluwapo Olajide is a freelance writer who believes that words are fundamental blocks and are the force of life and death. She is a tech enthusiast, fashion designer and a lover of words.

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