BudgIT, a leading civic-tech organization advocating for transparency and accountability in Nigeria’s public finance, has called on the Budget Office of the Federation and the Minister for Finance of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to promptly publish the 2022 third quarter budget implementation report as mandated by extant legislation.
The call is contained in a press statement by BudgiT Communications Associate, Nancy Odimegwu.
The organization noted that it has been eight months since the end of the third quarter of 2022, and according to the law, the report’s publication ought not to extend beyond 30 working days after the end of the quarter, restating that its request is pertinent, having ascertained that the report is presently inaccessible on the official website of the Budget Office of the Federation as of June 8, 2023.
The statement reads in part: “Under Section 30 (1) of the Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2007, the law states, “It is the Minister of Finance’s responsibility, through the Budget Office of the Federation, to diligently monitor and evaluate the Annual Budget’s implementation. This involves the critical role of analyzing budgetary objectives and presenting thorough quarterly reports to both the Fiscal Responsibility Commission and the National Assembly’s Joint Finance Committee.”
“Section 30 (2) further mandates the “Minister of Finance to ensure that the prepared reports, as per subsection (1), are published in mass media, electronic platforms, and on the official Ministry of Finance website no later than 30 days after the end of each quarter.”
Also, BudgIT’s Head of Research and Policy Advisory, Iniobong Usen, commented on the implication of the delay, stating “Delayed release of the Budget Implementation Report compromises accountability and leaves citizens in the dark regarding the management of public resources”.
He added: “The situation also hinders the timely intervention required when budget implementation is not going according to plan.”
The organization called on the Budget Office of the Federation to adhere to established provisions of the enabling legislation that promotes fiscal discipline, transparency, and accountability in managing the nation’s finances.
It also urged persons in public leadership to act transparently to help citizens understand how the government functions.