By Udo ONYEKA
BudgIT, under its Open Budget Partnership project, signed a MoU with Ebonyi State Government in September to kick-start a partnership with the state to improve its level of transparency and accountability.
The success of the OpenKaduna initiative, which started in 2016, with support from BudgIT has propelled some states in Nigeria to consider exploring the benefits of sub-national transparency and
BudgIT, a civic tech transparency organisation that working to keep
government transparent and accountable thus creating an active citizenry to improve governance is supporting state governments to break the age-long opacity that has denied citizens of access to
Ebonyi State Government has shown a willingness to improve the principles of transparency as well as establish the culture of accountability within the 13 local government areas of the state. The state’s effort to join the Open Government Partnership is also a good move in the direction for public sector reforms and efficient service delivery.
BudgIT is therefore committed to supporting the Ebonyi State Government through this process. This will include engagement with key government officials to discuss best practices in making budgets
readily available and quickly developed in line with the International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS).
With the involvement of the state government’ technical team, BudgIT will design an Open State portal for the State government which will serve as a repository for the pre-budget statements, executive budget proposals, enacted budgets, audit reports, implementation reports, financial statements and other public documents. Ultimately, BudgIT will assist the Ebonyi state government in
developing a simplified version of the citizens budget when the annual budget document is released. This document will be available on the state’s Open Budget portal, BudgIT’s website and disseminated across every channel for a structured participatory mechanism designed to capture views of the citizens throughout each budget cycle.
Gabriel Okeowo – BudgIT’s Principal Lead noted during the MoU signing
that ‘open budget system is the win-win course for both the government
and the citizens, as it projects the state’ positively for investment
and development support opportunities, while citizens will enjoy
improved service delivery through public participation and constant
engagement with the government’.