BudgIT has expressed concerns over Nigeria’s unsatisfactory overall score in the 2019 Open Budget Survey (OBS) report launched recently. To this end, the organisation has urged the federal government to take urgent steps to improve its budget process to global acceptable standards.
The Open Budget Survey is a biennial global, independent and comparative assessment which evaluates public budget accountability of the national government based on three key metrics – transparency, public participation and Institutional oversight. The report, which was announced through a live webcast, revealed that Nigeria scored 22/100 in public participation, 55/100 in budget oversight, and lastly, 21/100 in transparency, which also represented the overall Open Budget Index score.
A statement from BudgIT recalled that in the 2017 OBS report, Nigeria had an overall Open Index Score of 17/100.
“While the newly released 2019 report shows a 4-point improvement, according to the survey, this does not infer that much progress has been made especially when the previously raised underlying issues are still prevalent. For example, Nigeria’s low score in transparency can be attributed to insufficient comprehensiveness of key budget documents as well as late publishing and non-public availability of these budget documents.
“BudgIT hereby enjoins the federal government to deepen its measures in ensuring adequate transparency and accountability in its budget process, by ensuring that key budget documents are not just produced in a detailed and timely manner, but also made publicly available to the citizens,” it added.