The performance of the federal ministry of finance and eight others have been adjudged as below expectation.
Other ministries in poor form with the Finance ministry are Ministrires of Lands and Housing, Transport, Health, Women Affairs, Science and Techonology,Aviation, Water Resources and Education.
Their poor ratings were contained in Fiscal responsibility index of the Federal government designed to foster fiscal discipline and curb corruption.
The finance ministry, according the Index, performed two roles out of the 10 expected of it to maximum points.
The index covered 16 MDAs of which Nine were below the benchmark,
The Fiscal Responsibility Index was evolved with imputs from different Civil Society groups, Professional Associations and government agencies. It is a flagship assessment of how MDAs at the Federal level have complied with the provinsions of these laws, policies and regulations using the locally developed index.
Amenaghawon Idahosa, the Programme Coordinator, Economic Governance,of Open Society Initiative for West Africa [OSIWA], said that in terms of Policy-Based Budgeting Sub-Index, the Federal Ministry of Works followed by Trade and Investment, Mines and Steel, Environment, Agriculture, Power, Youths Development, Lands and Housing, Transportat, Health, Women Affairs, Scince and Technonology, Aviation, Finance, Water Resources and Education in that order applied policy based budgeting.
He equally stated that evidence from the Second Sub-Index which looked at budget Comprehensiveness and Transparency shows that apart from Environment in the survey period, no other selected MDA crossed the benchmark line implying that these focal MDAs cannot be said to be budget comprehensiveness and transparency compliant.
‘’The findings corroborated the latest result of the country in the 2015 Open Budget Index where Nigeria scores 24 out of 100 points in budget transparency’’
In terms of Budget Credibility, he noted that being the third Sub-Index, only one MDA[Aviation] has the score that is higher than the benchmark score in the study period.
‘’With regards to the Fourth Sub-Index on Budget implementation, Monitoring and Evaluation, the results show that apart from the Federal MDAs such as Agriculture, Lands and Housing as well as Youths Development for the period of the survey, other selected MDAs have scores below the Index benchmark’’.
He explained further that ‘’also interesting is the fact that evidence from the survey shows that in the Sub-Index benchmark of Accounting, Recording, Reporting and External Auditing, most MDAs had scores above the index benchmarks ‘’.
‘Assessing the role of the Finance Ministry in the preparation of the Medium Term Expenditure Framework, [MTEF], survey evidence within the study period shows that of all the provisions, the Ministry was able to perform two [fiscal strategy paper contains an expenditure and revenue framework as well as the MTEF submitted on time to the National Assembly for consideration] out of 10 roles to a maximum point’’
The Lead Director, Centre for Social Justice [CSJ] Eze Onyekwere said that the index product is a collaboration between his organization, the FRC with funding support from Open Society inintiatives for West Africa [OSIWA], which all about the improvement of fiscal governance in Nigeria.
Onyekwere stated that the Index is set to achieve among other things the following, ‘’Apply a domestic framework of indicators and indices for monitoring and assessing the level of fiscal prudence across federal MDAs, to produce baseline empirical data and statistics for assessing the identified indications and indices as well as promote the use of the fiscal responsibility report in identifying, designing and implementing reforms.
The Acting Chairman, Fiscal Responsibility Commission, Victor Muruako said that of recent, there has been a renewed call for government agenciers not to shirk their responsibility in remittance of their operating surplus adding that that is what it should be.
‘’Since it began operation in 2009, the commission has focused on remittance of operating surplus by MDAs and has induced payment of over N367 billion operation surplus by MDAs to the consolidated revenue fund as at August, 2015’’ .