Nigeria’s foremost audit civic society organization, Paradigm Leadership Support Initiative has ranked Akwa Ibom, Yobe and Katsina states as the most transparent and accountable subnational governments in Nigeria in its just Subnationa Audit Efficacy Index 2022.
The report which was presented in Abuja on Wednesday revealed ranked Abia, Benue, Borno, and Kano States 33rd, 34th, 35th, and 36th positions respectively as the lowest in transparency and accountability.
Executive Director at PLSI, Olusegun Elemo in his remarks affirmed that the 2022 Index applied eight scoring parameters including Audit Legal Framework & Operationalization, Submission of Annual Activity Report, Type of Audit Document Published Online, Implementation of House Resolutions on Audit Recommendations, Evidence of Performance Audit, Availability of Citizens’ Accountability Report, Civil Society/Media Participation in the Audit Process and Effectiveness of Public Accounts Committee.
Elemo disclosed further that “our research team collected, examined, and validated data provided by Offices of Accountant-General, Supreme Audit Institutions, Public Accounts Committees, and Civil Society Organizations in all 36 States”.
The Chairman of the Nigerian Governors Forum, the executive governor of Sokoto state, Aminu Tambuwal in his keynote address said the report was timely as this was a time where transparency remains important in public finance for states.
He added that “states remain resolute and undeterred in their quest to establish autonomous and strong audit institutions.”
The SAE Index 2022 report showed that only 2 out of 36 States have made progress toward implementing financial autonomy for the Audit Office while 21 States did not publish full audit report for 2021 and only 11 out of 36 States published Citizens’ Accountability Reports for 2021 online.
The group recommended the need for Governors to exhibit strong “political will” to enhance the effective implementation of Audit Laws, capacity strengthening for auditors, timeous review of audit reports by State Houses of Assembly, and publishing full audit reports as well as citizens’ accountability reports online to enhance civic participation in the audit process.
In a similar development, the Nigerian senate passed the audit bill today which awaits assent from the executive to become law.