The 2018 Budget Transparency Index for Nigerian States unveiled in Kaduna on Tuesday, rated Jigawa, Kaduna and Lagos States the best three in the country when it comes to budget Transparency in line with Open Government Partnership (OGP) principle.
The Civil Resource Development and Documentation Centre (CIRDDOC) Enugu in partnership with Connecting Gender for Development (COGEN), Kaduna with support from the Department for International Development (DFID) had undertaken an independent Sub-National
Budget Transparency Survey (SNBTS) in 2018, aiming at ensuring transparency in public accountability.
The survey, according to the Executive Director, COGEN, Ngukwase Surma, focused on four key indicators which are public availability of budget information, public participation in the budget process, public availability of procurement information and legal frameworks on access to budget information and fiscal responsibility as entrenched in the Open Government Partnership (OGP) which the Kaduna state government has subscribed to both at the national and international levels.
In doing this she said, the SNBTS survey questionnaires were administered to relevant MDAsin the state to obtain information on the above four mentioned key areas.
She noted that, “the data generated from the process have since been analysed by CIRDDOC’s team and consultants leading to the production of the Survey Report including the 2018 States Budget Transparency Index which was launched in the nation’s capital city, Abuja on November 20, 2019.”
The survey revealed, among others that, Nigerian States on the average provided minimal information on the budget and procurement processes with limited spaces for public participation.
With an average score of 29, most states don’t publish enough budget information, have limited spaces for citizens to be involved in the budget processes and provide minima information on the procurement processes.
With a score of 87, Jigawa performs best on the index because they provide citizens with extensive budget information, has effective mechanism for public consultation through the budget processes.
Unveiling the document officially at a hotel in Kaduna, Commissioner for Internal Security and Social Development, Samuel Aruwan said, the objective of Governor Nasir El-Rufai’s led administration has been to meet the needs of citizens and for them to have open access to budget information in a format that is accessible and easy to understand.
He however added that, the state government would continue to provide security across the state noting that, without security, most of the development will have challenge.
“We believe the security should be giving a priority. We will strengthen the security of the state because that is where the citizen can make use of what the government is putting in place for them,” he said.