BudgIT Releases Q2 2023 States Fiscal Transparency League, Jigawa Ranks Top State; Sokoto, Benue Leads Bottom Five
BudgIT, a foremost civic-tech organization leading the advocacy for accountability, transparency, and effective service delivery in Nigeria, has released its second-quarter evaluation report of the States Fiscal Transparency League, SFTL. The States Fiscal Transparency League aims to sustain the progress achieved through the World Bank’s States Fiscal Transparency, Accountability, and Sustainability (SFTAS) program by monitoring how effectively states uphold fiscal transparency, accountability, accessibility, and proficient management of public finances.
This initiative is a quarterly appraisal that delves into Proposed Budgets, Approved Budgets, Citizen’s Budgets, Budget Implementation Reports (BIR), Audit Reports, e-procurement portals, Medium Term Expenditure Frameworks (MTEFs), Freedom of Information (FOI) Act adherence, Accountant General’s Reports/Financial Statements, and States’ official websites and fiscal repositories activeness.
For 2023’s second quarter, an evaluation of all 36 Nigerian states revealed that nine states made significant progress by adhering to the STFAS guidelines, 23 states exhibited moderate performance, and four states performed poorly. Compared to Q1 2023, Jigawa State secured the top position for the second time this year, Ondo State maintained its second place, while Osun State climbed to the third position, surpassing Kano State. Ogun State fell from 13th to 34th place on the league table because its website was down, denying citizens access to its fiscal repository. Sokoto State also moved from 33rd to the bottom of the league.
Iyanuoluwa Bolarinwa, BudgIT’s Acting Lead for Open Government and Institutional Partnership, emphasized that upholding the achievements of the World Bank’s SFTAS Program is crucial for sub-national governments to earn the trust of their constituents, attract foreign investments, support economic strategies, and enhance the overall well-being of citizens. He particularly highlighted the significance of this endeavor in an era marked by changes in government across various states.
We, therefore, urge state governments to ensure their websites remain available and accessible to allow citizens access to fiscal documents and information. We also call on the states to publish their Audit Reports and Accountant General Reports/Financial Statements ahead of the next quarter’s rankings to enable them to gain scores related to specific indicators in the assessment.