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Fiscal transparency ranking: Nigeria slips to 92 out of 125 countries

Nigeria’s ranking in fiscal transparency has slumped, according to the 2023 Open Budget Survey, OBS, conducted by the International Budget Partnership, IBP.

The country scored a dismal 31 out of 100 in transparency, plummeting to 92nd place out of 125 countries assessed.OBS, the world’s only comparative and independent evaluation of transparency, oversight, and participation in national budgets, painted a gloomy picture of Nigeria’s fiscal management.

The survey revealed that Nigeria’s performance in transparency, public participation, and institutional oversight was subpar, trailing countries such as Cameroon, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Sierra Leone and Benin.

Nigeria’s disappointing showing was attributed to government’s failure to publish in-year reports and mid-year reviews online and adopt innovative public participation practices.

The country’s score of 31 in transparency is a significant drop from its 2021 performance, where it scored 45.

Reacting to the survey outcome, BudgIT, a civic-tech organization promoting transparency and accountability in Nigeria, expressed concern over the country’s declining fiscal transparency.


Gabriel Okeowo, BudgIT’s Country Director, said: “This is an immediate cry for help. Nigeria is experiencing a decline in fiscal transparency. The current administration has the ball in its court to revive fiscal transparency and take the nation further without reminiscing about past glories.

“There is still aneed for better transparency, enhanced mechanisms for public participation and engagements in the budget process, oversight functions performed by the supreme audit institution and the legislature, and improved timeliness in publishing detailed budget documents, especially audit reports.“To improve transparency, BudgIT recommended that government published fiscal documents promptly, ensured quarterly reports were released within three months post-period, and made annual budgets available in machine-readable formats.”The organization also advocated expanded engagement mechanisms during budget implementation, including promoting citizen feedback on projects and actively involving vulnerable communities. “It stressed that the National Assembly and auditor-general’s office must also create formal avenues for public contributions to audit programs and investigations, and allow public and civil society testimonies during budget and audit report hearings.

Also, Olayinka Babalola, Nigeria’s Country Manager of International Budget Partnership, emphasized the importance of generating discussion among citizens, government, civil society organizations, and all stakeholders on how public finance systems could address the needs of everyone, especially the marginalized and vulnerable.

He explained:  “Nigeria’s scores in the OBS 2023 provide a unique opportunity to identify areas for improvement and reflect on how the government can build on the gains made in previous years to make budgetary processes more transparent and participatory, while increasing oversight on how public funds are raised and spent.“As Nigeria grapples with fiscal transparency challenges, the 2023 open budget survey serves as a wake-up call for the government to prioritize accountability and inclusivity in public budgeting. “

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