Recently, Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari, approved the Financial Transparency Policy, aimed at reporting financial transactions and performance of all government bodies on a single platform, known as the Open Treasury Portal. As such, the general public will have access to periodic reports from Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), as well as the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation (OAGF), for transactions exceeding N5.0mn and N10.0mn respectively.
Further analysis into the policy showed that MDAs and OAGF are required to submit, a periodic detailed account of remittances, budget performance, financial statements, and several other official monetary transactions, within stipulated deadlines, following the end of a review period. Also, all MDAs are required to promptly respond to additional requests by the public, for information beyond what is published.
In our view, this is another score for the Buhari Administration in terms of transparency and fighting corruption – following the implementation of the Treasury Single Account (TSA) and the Whistleblower Policy. Therefore, we note that if executed properly, this could deepen the citizen trust in the government, increasing the potential for higher tax revenues as well as more efficient government spending. Also, proper implementation of the policy could put Nigeria some points ahead in the fiscal transparency and open government scorecard of international organizations. In all, sectors which have been hampered by slowing foreign direct investment and decreased public-private partnerships, given the lack of clarity in fiscal terms, are likely benefactors.
United Capital Research