States Shady With Budget Details– BudgIT

By Ikenga Chronicles June 27, 2018

BudgIT, a civic tech transparency organization has lamented that some state governments are shaddy about the details of their 2018 budget.

The group said the governments of Lagos state and Kwara state have been notoriously opaque in budget disclosures.

In a statement entitled, “Opaque Nigerian State Budgets”, signed by the Project Manager, BudgIT, Mr. Abayomi Akinbo, the group said that twenty-one states of the federation are yet to publish online, their 2018 budget documents for consumption by citizens.

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The 21 states are Abia, Akwa Ibom, Adamawa, Anambra, Bauchi, Bayelsa, Benue, Cross River, Enugu, Gombe, Imo, Jigawa, Kebbi, Niger, Ogun, Osun, Oyo, Rivers, Sokoto, Taraba, and Zamfara states.

According to BudgIT, only 15 States in the country had published their budget documents online as at June 20, 2018.

The group stated: “We were able to obtain 15 states budget documents for 2018. The states are Borno, Delta, Edo, Ekiti, Gombe, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kogi, Kwara, Lagos, Nasarawa, Ondo, Plateau and Yobe.

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“It is instructive to note that only 13 states, Borno, Delta Edo, Ekiti, Gombe, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kogi, Nasarawa, Ondo, Plateau and Yobe, of the 15 states are sufficiently detailed. While Lagos and Kwara states provided a summary of their budgets on the government websites.

“The document provided lacks actionable detail with which citizens can hold their elected officials to account. Our organization would like to state explicitly that Lagos and Kwara States have a history of opacity over the years and are notorious for resisting attempts by citizens to pry into the affairs of the state.

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“It is commendable that the states released full budget documents to the public, but it must be published within a reasonable timeframe. The proposed budget details presented to the State House of Assembly should be made available to the public to enable them to engage their Legislators during the budget debate. Any state keen on citizen participation in governance should publish full details of the proposal within 48 hours of submission to the legislature.”

Commenting on the need for transparency in presentation of public finances, BudgIT said: “Information on government spending from the public purse should be provided to the people by the government through various communication channels.One of which is the official state website. However, this is not the case with state governments in Nigeria.”

BudgIT urged the people of the 21 states whose budget documents have not been made public to demand that it be made accessible to ensure the society works in their interest.

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