Foremost civic-tech organization leading the advocacy for accountability, transparency, and effective service delivery in Nigeria, BudgIT, on Wednesday released its second-quarter evaluation report of the States’ Fiscal Transparency League, SFTL.
For 2023Q3, an evaluation of all 36 Nigerian states showed that nine states made significant progress by adhering to the guidelines, 23 others exhibited moderate performance, while four performed poorly. Compared to Q1 2023, for instance, Jigawa State secured the top position for the second time this year, followed by Ondo, while Osun displaced Kano to occupy the third position. On its part, Ogun fell from 13th to 34th place on the table because its website was down, denying citizens access to its fiscal repository, just as Sokoto State moved from 33rd to the bottom of the league.
The league, according to a statement by BudgIT 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, it added, is a quarterly appraisal that delves into proposed budgets, the approved version, 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.
The statement quoted Iyanuoluwa Bolarinwa, BudgIT’s Acting Lead for Open Government and Institutional Partnership, as emphasizing 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.
BudgIT challenged 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.