The Open Budget Index (OBI) survey result for year 2017 has shown that Nigeria’s budgetary process remained very opaque, ranking 90th out of the 115 countries captured in its latest survey.
In Africa, Nigeria ranked 23rd out of the 38 African countries covered in the 2017 survey which was released on Thursday.
The latest report of the survey showed that Nigeria’s score on the index dipped from 24 percent in 2015 to 17 percent, and the country is currently ranking behind Rwanda, Zimbabwe and Liberia in Africa.
This is even as South Africa was ranked first alongside New Zealand globally.
The Open Budget Index (OBI) is a global independent, comparative measure of central government budget transparency. Countries covered by the survey are given a transparency score between 0 and 100, used to construct the Index which ranks the assessed countries.
OBI assesses the comprehensiveness and timeliness of budget information that governments make publicly available.
In addition, the OBI survey also examines the extent of effective oversight provided by legislatures, the independent fiscal institutions and the supreme audit institutions, and the opportunities available to the public to participate in national budget processes.
Meanwhile, analysts at BudgIT, one of Nigeria’s independent organizations committed to budget efficiency, have blamed Nigeria’s latest poor ranking on the OBI survey on the failure of the federal government to produce mid-year review.
Commenting on the report, Communications Lead at BudgIT, Abiola Afolabi, expressed dismay at Nigeria’s current position on fiscal transparency and public participation in the budget process.
Afolabi stated that this was particularly worrisome in view of persistent advocacy by citizens and repeated promises by the government to improve on these fiscal areas.
“The Federal Government of Nigeria provides her citizens with insufficient budget information making it difficult for taxpayers to understand how elected officials are utilising available resources.
“Also, the budget process takes very little feedback from the public, and the final budget document does not reveal how the meagre feedbacks are used”, the BudgIT spokesperson stated.