Nigeria falls deeper in budget transparency index
Nigeria’s budget processes has been assessed as below performance, ranking 94 out of 120, while falling behind more than 20 countries in Africa.
The assessment by a global agency, Global Initiative for Fiscal Transparency Framework, that tracks comprehensiveness and timeliness of budget information, regarding its formulation, participation and implementation, tagged Open Budget Index, showed the new ranking as backwardness for the country.
Nigeria’s score on the open budget index dipped further, ranking 23 in Africa, behind Rwanda, Zimbabwe and Liberia, while South Africa, Uganda and Senegal top the index.
Currently, fiscal governance experts are raising issues with the feasibility of the 2018 budget and its outcome in engendering economic growth as claimed by the Federal Government.
Their concerns, which cut across capital expenditure vote, debt service provision and rising recurrent non-debt expenditure, are assessed as conduit to fritter public funds, deprive the poor rural masses and favour the one per cent elite group.
Meanwhile, the Centre for Social Justice said that there was no information regarding capital expenditure disbursements for the past 2017 budget before the presentation of the 2018 document.
BudgIT, has however, expressed dismay at Nigeria’s current position on fiscal transparency and public participation in the budget process as Africa’s largest economy has apparently taken steps backwards despite persistent advocacy by citizens and repeated promises by the government to improve.
According to the group, it is unfortunate that countries like Zimbabwe and Afghanistan could be ranked above Nigeria on the Open Budget index, an indication that the leadership is not ready to do things right with regards to transparency.
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