. Ogun, Benue, Sokoto rank lowest
Jigawa State led the league in the ranking of the World Bank’s States Fiscal Transparency, Accountability, and Sustainability (SFTAS).
This is contained in the second quarter (Q2) States Fiscal Transparency League (SFTL), evaluation report released by advocacy for accountability and transparency watchdog, BudgIT.
A statement by BudgIT’s Communications Associate, Nancy Odimegwu, explained that the SFTL “aims to sustain the progress achieved through the World Bank’s States Fiscal Transparency, Accountability, and Sustainability (SFTAS), programme by monitoring how effectively states uphold fiscal transparency, accountability, accessibility, and proficient management of public finances.”
“This initiative is a quarterly appraisal that delves into Proposed Budgets, Approved Budgets, Citizen’s Budgets, Budget Implementation Reports, BIR, Audit Reports, e-procurement portals, Medium Term Expenditure Frameworks (MTEFs), Freedom of Information (FOI) Act adherence, Accountant General’s Reports/Financial Statements, and States’ official websites and fiscal repositories activeness,” she added.
The statement reads further: “For 2023’s second quarter, an evaluation of all the 36 states revealed that nine states made significant progress by adhering to the STFAS guidelines, 23 states exhibited moderate performance, and four states performed poorly.
Upholding the achievements of the World Bank’s SFTAS Programme is crucial for sub-national governments to earn the trust of their constituents, attract foreign investments, support economic strategies, and enhance the overall well-being of citizens.
“Compared to Q1 2023, Jigawa State secured the top position for the second time this year, Ondo State maintained its second place, while Osun State climbed to the third position, surpassing Kano State.
“Ogun State fell from 13th to 34th place on the league table because its website was down, denying citizens access to its fiscal repository. Sokoto State also moved from 33rd to the bottom of the league.”
Commenting, BudgIT’s Acting Lead for Open Government and Institutional Partnership, Iyanuoluwa Bolarinwa, was quoted as emphasizing that upholding the achievements of the World Bank’s SFTAS Programme is crucial for sub-national governments to earn the trust of their constituents, attract foreign investments, support economic strategies, and enhance the overall well-being of citizens.
He also highlighted the significance of this endeavour in an era marked by changes in government across various states.
“We, therefore, urge state governments to ensure their websites remain available and accessible to allow citizens access to fiscal documents and information.
“We also call on the states to publish their Audit Reports and Accountant General Reports/Financial Statements ahead of the next quarter’s rankings to enable them to gain scores related to specific indicators in the assessment,” he added.
Below is the full list of the states ranking: