The Civil Resource Development and Documentation Centre (CIRDDOC) has just released the report of the 2020 Nigerian States Budget Transparency Survey which shows a marked improvement in the level of budget transparency across the 36 states of the federation although participation has remained low.

With an average score of 42 out of 100 (up from 29 in 2018), Nigerian states provided some information on the budget and procurement processes although with limited spaces for public participation. These improvements were mainly due to the timely online publication of budget documents and the enactment of procurement laws meant to better guide the procurement process. With a score of 90, Jigawa performed best on the Index, as they did in 2018. Jigawa state continued to provide citizens with extensive budget information, had mechanisms for public consultation throughout the budget process, and had an open and robust procurement process. The majority of states scored between 20 and 60, meaning they provided minimal to some information on the budget, few spaces for public participation, and limited information on the procurement process. The study which was designed to analyse how transparent, open, and participatory budget and procurement processes are in Nigerian states, covered the 36 states of the federation.

Giving further insight, the report shows that an overwhelming majority of states improved their 2020 scores on the State Budget Document Availability Index. The average score in 2020 increased to 49 (from 32 in 2018). While Jigawa state continued to be at the top of this sub-index, Ondo and Kano states ranked second and third with scores of 86 and 80, respectively while nine states had lower scores than in 2018. The report also shows that while there were significant improvements in budget transparency in 2020, improvements in public participation in the budget process were not as extensive as the average score of the 2020 State Public Participation Index increased marginally to 26 from 17 in 2018. However, it was observed that the majority of these improvements in opportunities for public participation occurred during the formulation stage of the budget process as spaces during budget execution and audit remained minimal, at best. It was also found that the procurement process in Nigerian states continued to be more robust and open than in previous years. The average score of the 2020 State Procurement Process Index increased to 40 (from 31 in 2018). This survey proves that all states can make significant improvements in the medium-term. The question remains if these reforms can be sustained in the long-term.

For the full report, including recommendations, and other resources, such as state-specific results, please visit: www.cirddoc.org or statesbudgettransparencysurvey-ng.com

Cirddoc’s is committed to making budget systems more transparent and accountable to the public in order to improve governance and combat poverty. To achieve this, it collaborates with state-based civil society organizations around the country to analyze, monitor, and influence government budget processes, institutions, and outcomes. The Foreign, Commonwealth Development Office (FCDO), has graciously provided funding for the Subnational Budget Transparency Initiative at the CIRDDOC.

 –      Management