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NIGERIA : US SCORES BUHARI'S GOVERNMENT LOW IN NEW REPORT







The United States Department of State has stated that President Muhammadu Buhari-led Government failed to make significant progress in fiscal transparency.


This was the submission of the U.S. Department of State 2019 Fiscal Transparency Report spanning January 1 – December 31, 2018.

Naija News understands that fiscal transparency refers to the publication of information on how governments raise, spend, and manage public resources.


The report describes the minimum requirements of fiscal transparency developed, updated, and strengthened by the Department in consultation with other relevant federal agencies.

The review includes an assessment of the transparency of processes for awarding government contracts and licenses for natural resource extraction.

The American Government undertakes annual reviews of the fiscal transparency of governments that receive U.S. assistance to help ensure U.S. taxpayer funds are used appropriately and provide opportunities to dialogue with governments on the importance of fiscal transparency.


The fiscal transparency determinations may change from year to year due to updating and strengthening minimum requirements of fiscal transparency as required by law, changes in governments’ performance on public financial management, or new information coming to the Department’s attention.

As a result, some governments may fall short of these requirements, despite in some cases maintaining or even improving their overall level of fiscal transparency.

Released on Thursday, the report notes that the minimum requirements of fiscal transparency include having key budget documents that are publicly available, substantially complete, and generally reliable.


“The review includes an assessment of the transparency of processes for awarding government contracts and licenses for natural resource extraction,” it states.

Continuing, the report states, “Fiscal transparency is a critical element of effective public financial management, helps build market confidence and underpins economic sustainability.”

It adds that fiscal transparency fosters greater government accountability by providing a window into government budgets for citizens, helping citizens hold their leadership accountable, and facilitating better-informed public debate.

The Department concluded that, of the 140 governments evaluated pursuant to the Act plus Equatorial Guinea, 67 did not meet the minimum requirements of fiscal transparency.

Of these 67, however, 13 governments made significant progress toward meeting the minimum requirements of fiscal transparency.

Nigeria is one of the countries that did not meet the minimum requirements for fiscal transparency.


CHECK THE LIST BELOW :

THIS IS JUST AN EXTRACT OF THE MAIN FISCAL POLICY . 
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Significant Progress or No Significant Progress
A determination of “significant progress” indicates that during the review period a government has satisfactorily addressed a key deficiency in meeting the minimum requirements of fiscal transparency.  A key deficiency is some material condition or fact that causes a government not to meet the minimum requirements of fiscal transparency.
Fiscal Transparency Innovation Fund
Section 7031(b)(4) of the FY 2019 SFOAA requires funds appropriated under title III of the Act be made available for programs and activities to assist governments identified in the fiscal transparency report to improve budget transparency and to support civil society organizations that promote fiscal transparency.  
In response to a similar requirement, the Department and USAID created the Fiscal Transparency Innovation Fund (FTIF) in Fiscal Year 2012 (FY2012).  FTIF supports programs and activities that assist governments to improve their public financial management and fiscal transparency standards and civil society organizations that promote budget transparency.  
The Department’s Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs and USAID’s Bureau for Economic Growth, Education, and Environment solicit proposals and award funds in accordance with established guidelines.  For FY2019, the Department and USAID requested $4.5 million for the FTIF to support projects to enhance:  (1) governments’ capacity to develop and execute comprehensive, reliable, and transparent budgets; (2) citizens’ visibility into state expenditure and revenue programs; and/or (3) citizens’ ability to advocate for specific issues related to government budgets and budget processes.
The Department and USAID have begun obligating a planned total of $4.5 million in FY2018 Economic Support Funds through the FTIF to support 15 projects in the following countries:  Algeria, Armenia, Ecuador, Ethiopia, Guinea, Haiti, Liberia, Maldives, Namibia, Niger, Seychelles, The Gambia, Trinidad and Tobago, and Uganda.  
Congressional notifications of these funds are forthcoming.  The projects are targeted to advance efforts by government and civil society to enhance fiscal transparency and public financial management practices and to improve public awareness and involvement in the expenditure of public resources.  (The projects involving Seychelles and Trinidad and Tobago required and received additional internal review and approval because they are high-income countries, and, as a general matter, the United States does not use foreign assistance resources to fund programs benefitting developed countries.)
Conclusions of Review Process
The Department concluded that, of the 140 governments evaluated pursuant to the Act plus Equatorial Guinea, 67 did not meet the minimum requirements of fiscal transparency.  Of these 67, however, 13 governments made significant progress toward meeting the minimum requirements of fiscal transparency.
The Department assessed the following governments as meeting the minimum requirements of fiscal transparency for 2019:  Afghanistan, Albania, Argentina, Armenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Cabo Verde, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Croatia, Czech Republic, El Salvador, Estonia, Fiji, Georgia, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Israel, Jamaica, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kosovo, Kyrgyz Republic, Latvia, Lithuania, Malaysia, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia, Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Namibia, Nepal, North Macedonia (formerly Republic of Macedonia), Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Senegal, Serbia, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, and Uruguay.
The following table lists those governments that were found not to meet the minimum requirements of fiscal transparency and identifies whether the governments made significant progress toward meeting those requirements:
Governments Assessed in 2019 as not Meeting Minimum Requirements of Fiscal TransparencySignificant ProgressNo Significant Progress
AlgeriaX
AngolaX
AzerbaijanX
Bahamas, TheX
BahrainX
BangladeshX
BelizeX
BeninX
BurmaX
BurundiX
CambodiaX
CameroonX
Central African RepublicX
ChadX
ChinaX
ComorosX
Congo, Democratic Republic of theX
Congo, Republic of theX
DjiboutiX
Dominican RepublicX
EcuadorX
EgyptX
Equatorial GuineaX
Eswatini (Swaziland)X
EthiopiaX
GabonX
Gambia, TheX
GuineaX
Guinea-BissauX
HaitiX
IraqX
LaosX
LebanonX
LesothoX
LiberiaX
LibyaX
MadagascarX
MalawiX
MaldivesX
MaliX
MauritaniaX
MozambiqueX
NicaraguaX
NigerX
NigeriaX
OmanX
PakistanX
Palestinian AuthorityX
Papua New GuineaX
RwandaX
SamoaX
Sao Tome and PrincipeX
Saudi ArabiaX
SomaliaX
South SudanX
SudanX
SurinameX
TajikistanX
TanzaniaX
TogoX
TurkmenistanX
UkraineX
UzbekistanX
VietnamX
YemenX
ZambiaX
ZimbabweX









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