Seun Onigbinde of BudgIT has explained the real reason he took up the offer to work with the President Muhammadu Buhari regime.
He said he did so in bid to make some changes to the budgeting system of Nigeria.
Onigbinde, the founder of BudgIT, who spoke with Punch in an interview, stated that there was no moral justification for anyone to criticize the government and reject an opportunity to take up roles when offered.
Asked if he regretted taking up the offer, Onigbinde said, “I don’t regret it. I feel that this is one of the greatest things I have ever done in my life, apart from resigning from a commercial bank.
“If you look on the flipside, would I have had the moral authority to continue criticising the government from outside, if it were said that I turned down an invitation to come and make some changes to Nigeria’s budgeting system? It is like the proverbial man and his donkey.
“If you say yes or no you’re damned. A man’s conscience is his biggest guide and that is why I will not be discouraged. I satisfied my conscience. It was one of the goals I had when we were setting up BudgIT.”
Onigbinde also said he was not moved by heavy criticisms he received, adding that he was approached by the ministry to offer his support and expertise.
He reiterated that he had previously turned down offers to join the government adding that his major goal is to help the government achieve budget transparency.
“Everybody knows that in the last eight years, BudgIT has championed transparency in public spending. And this is not the first time I would be approached.
“I had turned such offers down twice. I had taken a 10-month operational break in 2018 as an Obama Foundation scholar and I thought it was time to do something new.
“So, I thought of how I could help in actualising one of the goals of BudgIT, which is helping the government to achieve transparency. That was my own goal.”
Onigbinde, however, noted that he was not going to be paid by the federal government as the position was offered to him by an international development agency.