Yobe tops state budget transparency survey as Bauchi ranked low in Northeast
Yobe State has been rated number one among other North East states budget transparency, according to a survey conducted by Civil Resource Development and Documentation Centre (CIRDDOC), with Bauchi taking the 6th and last position.
Speaking on behalf of CIRDDOC during a North East states 2020 budget transparency survey launch, organised with support from Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Responsible Citizenship and Human Development Initiative, Zonal Coordinator, Dudu Manuga said this was based on the findings of states’ researchers and the visibility of the each states’ budget records online.
The six states making up North-East were ranked Yobe, Taraba, Adamawa, Gombe, Borno and Bauchi respectively.
Manuga noted that although a number of states have functional website, she stressed that many still do not have the requisite details of some aspect of budget online.
She bemoaned the failure of states to publish mid-year review which is six month report on the budget, adding that Auditor Generals of all the states failed to engage the citizens of each of the states.
Manuga said, “The issue of transparency has tremendously improved unlike when we started in 2015 because now every day has a website and they put up their documents on those website. Not, all the documents that we are looking for are there and when they are there (online) they are there in good time because there is a timeline.
“So that when citizens want to do something or intervene but unfortunately, not all are always online in good time. Some states don’t do citizens’ budget where it is broken down using infographics, or the use of languages that citizens can understand some states don’t do this. Some states do not do call circular they feel it is not important.”
The Coordinator, also warned against movement of funds from Ministries, Departments and Agencies that have been been appropriated without recourse to the assembly.
Also speaking, Zainab Saleh, Director Budget, Ministry of Budget and Economic Planning said the survey gave researchers opportunity to know how citizens were carried along in budget process, adding that the network of civil society organisations operating in the state aided the performance.
On his part, CIRDDOC’s Bauchi State Researcher, Yusuf Abashi, noted that citizens input were not captured in 2020 budget formulation, noting that the state last low because alot of things were not made open for the public.
“In the North East we have a long way to go presently. Yes, there is a level of involvement but it is too insignificant, the people are the most important contributors in the budget. Until the responsibility is implemented we will be far behind. Budget should be from the people upward and not from up to bottom.
“Bauchi ranked low because they are tied to secrecy and they are not opening up. They cover everything in secrecy,” Abasi said.