Lagos, C’River, Bayelsa, 9 Other States Refuse To Publish 2019 Budget Despite World Bank’s N228.7 Billion Per-State Incentive - BudgIT
Twelve of Nigerian state governments have proved that the returns from the usual business of budget secrecy are much more fulfilling to them than the $750million incentive provided by the World Bank to encourage public finance transparency in Nigeria, BudgIT research has shown.
According to a statement signed by Shakir Akorede BudgIT’s Communications Associate said an 8-month painstaking effort, the assessment of the availability of public finance documents in state government domains reveals that only twenty-five states’ approved budgets are available online, a few of which are summarized scanned documents.
Eleven states (Lagos, Cross River, Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Ebonyi, Imo, Nasarawa, Oyo, Rivers, Sokoto and Zamfara) are yet to publish the details of their 2019 budget online, as of June 3rd, 2019, while Kwara state budget went missing on its website immediately after the recent transition.
This contravenes the ideals of openness and transparency in the management of public resources, which is the requisite guideline for the World Bank’s State Fiscal Transparency, Accountability and Sustainability (SFTAS) programme, a product of mutual agreement between the financial institution and the federal government to strengthen fiscal transparency, accountability and sustainability in Nigerian states as a means to turbocharge their revenue base, increase fiscal efficiency in public expenditure while reducing debt overhangs.
The project, in which all the 36 state governments submitted written expressions of interest, commenced late 2018 after the endorsement by the National Economic Council (NEC) in March. It is shocking that any state would jettison the offer of a programme that was informed by serious fiscal challenges faced by states, the majority of which are still unable to pay workers’ salaries and pensions.
We must emphasise that I ...