The transparency level of the federal government’s budget has moved upwards to 45 per cent, a report from the 2021 Open Budget Survey (OBS) has shown.
The report, which was unveiled in Abuja on Tuesday was undertaken by the International Budget Partnership (IPB) in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning and the Budget Office of the Federation.
Presenting the report, the Senior Programme Officer of IBP, Sally Torbert, said the 45 per cent score showed that Nigeria had improved in its budget formulation, planning and implementation.
Torbert said, “The outcome of the survey, which is the report we are presenting today, shows that the transparency level of Nigeria’s government budget has improved by 21 per cent from the 24 per cent recorded in 2019 to 45 per cent now recorded in 2021.
“The performance is the second highest improvement worldwide and the score now stands as the global average benchmark of budget transparency which happens to be 45 per cent also.”
She added that for Nigeria to improve in its global budget transparency ranking which currently stands at 65 out of 120 countries, the federal government must provide additional information on spending plans and also improve on its engagement with the Office of the Auditor General of Federation.
Earlier in her virtual remarks, Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, said the ministry considered the partnership with IBP as key to improving the budgeting process from formulation to implementation
She emphasised the importance of transparency of the budgeting process, while pledging the federal government’s commitment in engaging with citizens in budget processes.
Reacting to the report, the Director General of the Budget Office of the Federation, Mr Ben Akabueze, said the revelation of the report was an indication that the country was making progress, while pledging that “citizens feedback will be taken into consideration while preparing the 2023 budget.”