CLEEN Foundation with support from the Ford Foundation conducted a stakeholders’ meeting aimed at monitoring Federal Government Budget Implementation – Performance and Accountability Issues in Nigeria. Participants at the meeting were selected from, budgeting and financial government agencies and institutions, academia and Civil society organizations, the media.
At the meeting, budget planning and implementation within the framework of transparency, accountability, and effectiveness in Nigeria was a dominant discourse. This includes adherence to Public Expenditure Management (PEM), principles of comprehensiveness, discipline, legitimacy, flexibility, predictability, contest-ability, honesty, transparency and accountability.
The workshop provided stakeholders especially the media, MDAs and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) the opportunity to examine the issues mitigating proper budgeting and implementation in Nigeria and proffer solutions and recommendations.
Constituency project is one area identified at the workshop for having a serious challenge in transparency. For instance, in the 2017 National Budget, members of National Assembly allocated over 50% (N54 billion) zonal intervention projects to empowerment.
The workshop noted that Wide Votes (SWV) breaches the benchmark for good practice and has consistently been above 18% in the two years 2016 and 2017 while it increased to 20.23% in 2018. Most of the votes in SWV are lump sum votes that are not disaggregated and the actual spending items are not made known to the public.
Participants at the meeting suggested ways of having effective budget design and implementation, with suggested recommendations as open data contracting, citizens participation in budget design and many others.
Anderlyn Ezeh, CLEEN Foundation