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Jigawa, Ondo, others rank top in fiscal transparency, effective public finance management

JIGAWA, Ondo, Kano, Adamawa, Osun, Gombe, Kwara, Oyo and Kogi States have emerged the top nine states with the highest fiscal transparency and facilitated accountability in public resource management. 

The states were ranked the top nine states in the States Fiscal Transparency League (SFTL), an initiative by BudgIT aimed to sustain the gains of the recently concluded World Bank’s State Fiscal Transparency, Accountability and Sustainability (SFTAS) Program. 

BudgIT is a leading civic organisation that uses creative technology to simplify public information, stimulating a community of active citizens and enabling their right to demand accountability, institutional reforms, and efficient service delivery to facilitate societal change. It makes use of data to improve governance by bridging the information gap between the government and citizens

According to BudgIT, the top nine states’ Medium-Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) documents as well as its citizens’ budget were adjudged comprehensive and timely. The respective state’s website and e-procurement portal had all required information and were easily navigated. 

BudgIT in its report of the league averred that it is important for all state governments to have functional and up-to-date websites, as this is imperative to enable the extraction of the required information to aid the process. 

    To ascertain the states’ standing, BudgIT deployed some background indicators which include: Medium-Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF), Proposed Budget, Approved Budget, Citizens’ Budget, Budget Implementation Reports (BIR); Audited Report, Accountant General’s Report/Financial Statement, e-Procurement Portal or Contract Award Information, States Website with Fiscal Repository. 

   Also, it made use of some scoring methodology like timeliness, availability, and comprehensiveness to ascertain the performance on each of the background indicators with a number of criteria and accompanying grade points respectively. The grade points attached to each background indicator was put at 20, while the total score was 100. 

    Jigawa led the states with 90 points. It was followed by Ondo (78), Kano (77), Adamawa (76), Osun (76), Gombe (74), Kwara (73), Oyo (72) and Kogi (71); while Abia, Taraba, and Benue are the three states with woeful performances, scoring 39, 38 and 28 respectively. 

   BudgIT in its report observed that though the approved budget met all the criteria for comprehensiveness, it was not published on time. The proposed budget document was also different from the standard methodology that was set for appraisal, hence, did not meet the set criteria. The citizens’ budget was timely but not fully comprehensive.

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