The Buhari Media Organisation (BMO) has described Nigeria’s listing as the second best in budget transparency in Africa as another promise fulfilled.
The group said in a statement signed by its Chairman Niyi Akinsiju and Secretary Cassidy Madueke that until the inception of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration, the country was on a constant decline in the global budget transparency index.
“It is a thing of pride that Nigeria emerged as the second best in Sub-Saharan Africa in terms of budget transparency at the federal level even though it ranked 65th position among 120 countries measured in 2021.
“We are aware that the ranking was carried out by the International Budget Partnership (IBP) through its Open Budget Survey (OBS), an independent and fact-based research instrument that uses internationally accepted criteria to regularly assess transparency, oversight and public participation in the national budgeting process, while also making comparative analysis.
“For the avoidance of doubt, Nigeria was recorded as posting its best performance in the OBS in recent years by improving 24 points to attain a total transparency score of 45 in the 2021 survey from the 2019 score of 21.
“More interesting is the IBP position that Nigeria’s improvement on the listing reflected ongoing efforts by the Buhari administration to improve the public availability of key documents on budget information on allocation and expenditure.”
The group also recalled that Nigeria’s performance on the open budget survey which is done every two years had been poor since its inception.
“Publicly available information showed that the country had been on the wrong side of budget transparency since groups like the International Budget Partnership (IBP), through its Open Budget Survey (OBS), had been tracking transparency in public expenditure.
“A cursory look into IBP archives showed that Nigeria’s score had been consistently on the decline from 20 in 2006 to 19 in 2008 and then to 18 in 2010 while dropping further to 16 in 2012 out of a maximum score of 100.
“What this means is that the state of budget transparency, participation and oversight for the better part of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) years in office had been abysmally low if the highest ever recorded was 20 out of 100.
“Today, the country has its highest ever score of 45 in the global budget transparency index, a performance which is the second-highest improvement worldwide in transparency, second only to the Gambia.
“And, though we know that there is still room for improvement, a 21-point improvement deemed the second highest on the global stage is worthy of commendation,” it added.
BMO said that the budget transparency rating shows that President Buhari meant business when he said he would leave Nigeria better than he met it on assuming office in 2015.