Africa’s biggest economy, Nigeria, has been ranked 97th in the world and 29th in Africa in the 2019 budget transparency report. This is revealed in the latest edition of the Open Budget Survey(OBS) just released.
With a transparency score of 21 out of 100, Nigeria is ranked among countries which were found to be less likely to share information publicly about their budget process to allow debate and participation in the process.
The open budget survey helps local civil society assess and confer with their government on the reporting and use of public funds. This 7th edition of the OBS covers 117 countries and looks at public access to information on how the central government raises and spends public resources.
According to the report, overall, Nigeria increased the availability of budget information by Publishing the Citizens Budget online and Increasing the information provided in the Enacted Budget. However, it decreased the availability of budget information by Failing to publish the Audit Report online in a timely manner.
Generally, only eight out of the ranked African countries scored the global average and above 45.
South Africa is the only one to score 61 and above. It scored 87. It is followed closely by Uganda (58), Ghana (54), Namibia (51) and Kenya (50). Benin (49), Zimbabwe (49) and Senegal (46) are the other countries that scored the average and above.
The Open Budget Survey (OBS) is the world’s only independent, comparative and fact-based research instrument that uses internationally accepted criteria to assess public. access to central government budget information; formal opportunities for the public to participate in the national budget process; and the role of budget oversight institutions such as the legislature and auditor in the budget process.
The OBS measures public access to information on how government raises and spends public resources. It also assesses the online availability, timeliness, and comprehensiveness of eight key budget documents using 109 equally weighted indicators and scores each country on a scale of 0 to 100.
Based on their score, countries are grouped into five categories of performance on budget transparency. The best-performing countries have a transparency score of 81 or above – the highest transparency category where governments provide extensive information
to their public.
A transparency score of 61 or above indicates a country is likely publishing enough material to support informed public debate on the budget.
According to the study, Countries with better performance on budget transparency feature higher outcomes, on average, on governance and development indicators.
Open Budget Transparency Index: Top Ranking African Countries
Open Budget Transparency Index: Bottom Ranking African Countries
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