How can Nigeria achieve financial transparency at the state level? Stanley Bentu speaks to BudgiT

The Federal Government, in December of 2017, confirmed the release of the final tranche of the Paris Club refund to 27 state governments.

At the time, The government did not disclose the amount that was paid.

President Muhammadu Buhari had earlier in the the month directed the Finance Minister, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udo Udoma, and the Central Bank Governor, Godwin Emefiele, to pay the outstanding Paris and London Club refunds before the end of 2017

The Federal Government had in July of the same year released the second tranche of N243.79bn, bringing the amount disbursed to states as refund under the Paris Club loan to N760.17bn before the December payment.

A survey by the News Agency of Nigeria in the North Central zone has revealed that state governments still owe workers in spite of the bailout funds provided by the Federal Government.

The survey also found that all debt-ravaged states that collected the federal government intervention fund as well as the Paris Club loan refund are still owing some categories of workers salary arrears.

Benue, Kogi, Taraba, and Nasarawa were a few of a number of states that were found to be behind in salary payments despite the refunds.

Conversely, in Plateau, the state Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Jibrin Bancir, confirmed that the state government was not owing any worker.

Many critics point to a lack of accountability in the management of state government funds.

So how can we achieve transparency at the state level?

Stanley Bentu spoke to budgiT, a civic organization that applies technology to intersect citizen engagement with institutional improvement, to facilitate societal change.

Representing the organisation are Operations Lead of
Stanley Achonu and Senior Project officer, Ogunloye Tolulope

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