Payments from public accounts to personal accounts by public ministries and agencies have reduced from 98.4% to 94%, BudgIT and Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre( CISLAC) said in a joint statement on Monday.
The civil organisations said there is a progress in the accountability of MDAs transactions since the Nigerian government in 2020 launched a Committee on Federal Government Financial Transparency Guidelines and Open Treasury Portal to enable transparency on economic governance policy.
The committee was charged with the duty of implementing transparent governance and improve the whistleblowing programme, which would help Nigerians report financial crimes in the MDAs.
BudgIT and CISLAC were nominated as members of the Committee.
“Since the committee’s intervention, payments without description have reduced by 50.98% from N794,954,335.07 in about 28 transactions in August 2020 to N389.718.618.47 with 24 transactions in January 2021,” BudgIt and CISLAC said.
“Likewise, payments to personal accounts which amounted to N2,962,536,395.77 with 190 Occurrences in August 2020 rose by 98.40% to N5.877,687,578.87 with 336 occurrences in December 2020. However, these payments have reduced by 94.75% from December 2020 to N308.174,806.84 with 15 occurrences in January 2021.”
The civil societies stated that the progress is commendable as payments without description have reduced same as transactions from public accounts to personal accounts.
Executive Director of CISLAC, Auwal Ibrahim Musa Rafsanjani, also noted that the payments made to personal accounts as observed by the committee during its first 2021 meeting increased from 277 in November 2020 to 336 in December 2020.
He said this adulterated the progress that was recorded in the months before December 2020.
Auwal said in October 2020, a list of 44 transactions from 16 MDAS was handed over to ICPC representative for further investigation for non-compliance.
He said despite the ICPC’s intervention the committee noticed some consistent trends emerging from the ministry of Niger Delta and Humanitarian affairs with both having the largest share of defaulters in the last quarter of 2020.”
Meanwhile BudgIT’s Principal Lead, Gabriel Okeowo reiterated the importance of unveiling the list of those sanctioned to the public.
Okeowo said this will serve as a deterrent to other civil servants and public office holders to be more accountable in the use of public funds.
In January, the Corruption Perception Index (CPI) 2020, report published by Transparency International indicates that Nigeria occupies the 149th position out of the 180 countries surveyed as well scored 25 out of 100 points.
The 149th position means Nigeria is just above 31 countries out of 180 countries surveyed worldwide, while Nigeria is ranked 25 out of 49 countries in the sub-region.
With the current ranking, Nigeria is now the second most corrupt country in West Africa with Guinea-Bissau ranking first in the region.
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