BudgIT’s Principal Lead, Gabriel Okeowo.
By Barnabas Esiet.
The Anambra State government has entered into agreement with a social advocacy group, BudgIT, to implement Open Budget System that aims to promote fiscal transparency in the state.
The open budget initiative which is in line with the Rule of Law and Anti-corruption (RoLAC) programme funded by the European Union is being implemented by the British Council in five states across Nigeria; Adamawa, Anambra, Edo, Kano and Lagos.
In a statement, BudgIT noted that Anambra state government is in the forefront having signed up to Open Government Partnership (OGP) to finalize its State Action Plan (SAP) 2019-2021, as well as the Anambra State Anti-corruption Strategy (ANSACS) and launched both after the signing of the MoU with BudgIT.
Over the years, BudgIT, through Open Alliance, has been at the forefront of a subnational transparency campaign that encourages and supports states to sign up to the OGP, to foster fiscal transparency, access to information, citizens participation and innovation needed for inclusive development and efficient service delivery for its citizens.
“ With the step Anambra government has taken, it has become the 6th state in Nigeria to have an approved SAP, it is one of the 13 states in Nigeria to sign on to OGP initiative but the 8th state to develop a State Action Plan (SAP).” The statement read.
“This means that five states are yet to develop or approve a plan that captures the commitments of both Government and citizens to be co-implemented by state and non-state actors in the co-creation process under the OGP.” It added.
BudgIT’s Principal Lead, Gabriel Okeowo, called on other states in the country to be bold in their commitment to an open and inclusive government that encourages increased confidence and foster development at the subnational level to achieve a transparent fiscal system.
“We would support Anambra state with technical resources to make its budget more open, develop citizens’ budget and a web-based feedback mechanism for citizens participation as well as enlist the state on a national web portal (developed by BudgIT) where all states financial documents will be published for increased access and citizen’s participation in the governance process.” He noted.