The United States Department of State has stated that President Muhammadu Buhari-led Government failed to make significant progress in fiscal transparency.
This was the submission of the U.S. Department of State 2019 Fiscal Transparency Report spanning January 1 – December 31, 2018.
Naija News understands that fiscal transparency refers to the publication of information on how governments raise, spend, and manage public resources.
The report describes the minimum requirements of fiscal transparency developed, updated, and strengthened by the Department in consultation with other relevant federal agencies.
The review includes an assessment of the transparency of processes for awarding government contracts and licenses for natural resource extraction.
The American Government undertakes annual reviews of the fiscal transparency of governments that receive U.S. assistance to help ensure U.S. taxpayer funds are used appropriately and provide opportunities to dialogue with governments on the importance of fiscal transparency.
The fiscal transparency determinations may change from year to year due to updating and strengthening minimum requirements of fiscal transparency as required by law, changes in governments’ performance on public financial management, or new information coming to the Department’s attention.
As a result, some governments may fall short of these requirements, despite in some cases maintaining or even improving their overall level of fiscal transparency.
Released on Thursday, the report notes that the minimum requirements of fiscal transparency include having key budget documents that are publicly available, substantially complete, and generally reliable.
“The review includes an assessment of the transparency of processes for awarding government contracts and licenses for natural resource extraction,” it states.
Continuing, the report states, “Fiscal transparency is a critical element of effective public financial management, helps build market confidence and underpins economic sustainability.”
It adds that fiscal transparency fosters greater government accountability by providing a window into government budgets for citizens, helping citizens hold their leadership accountable, and facilitating better-informed public debate.
The Department concluded that, of the 140 governments evaluated pursuant to the Act plus Equatorial Guinea, 67 did not meet the minimum requirements of fiscal transparency.
Of these 67, however, 13 governments made significant progress toward meeting the minimum requirements of fiscal transparency.
Nigeria is one of the countries that did not meet the minimum requirements for fiscal transparency.
Read the full report HERE.