FG, Edo rank low in ICAN’s public finance assessment
A report by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) released yesterday, ranked the Federal Government, Edo State and others low in its public sector financial governance assessment for 2018 fiscal year.
The assessment, known as Accountability lndex (ICAN-AI), which was carried out under the supervision of the institute’s steering committee, specifically ranked the federal and state governments according to their performance on the basis of a number of variables, which include policy-based fiscal strategy and budgeting, budget credibility, management of assets and debts, control in budget execution, accounting and reporting, external audit and legislative scrutiny.
In the ranking, the maximum obtainable scores for all the five pillars deployed for the assessment are: 98 for pillar one, 77 for pillars two and three, 168 for pillar four and 70 for pillar five.
According to the report, Kaduna State ranked first with overall score of 72.7 per cent; Enugu came second with 58.2 per cent; Jigawa State ranked third with 55.9 per cent while Edo State came last with 15.1 per cent.
The Federal Government ranked 39.6 per cent in the finance transparency and occupied the 10th position. Other states that fell within the top ten in the countrywide ranking include Niger, Kwara, Plateau, Kogi, Kano and Ondo. Lagos and Rivers states were ranked 13th and 20th positions.
According to the report, in the worst performing state, the team of ICAN assessors had access to only three per cent of required information, compared to the best performer, Kaduna State, where the assessors had access to 87 per cent of the requested information.
At the public presentation of the report, the chairman, ICAN-AI Committee, Alhaji Isma’ila Zakari, said that in general, despite the plethora of legislations and laws in Nigeria mandating the availability of such information to stakeholders, the entire country showed low level of transparency.
However, he said this year’s report recorded a seven per cent improvement over last years’ assessment.