KWARA State was on Thursday listed by an advocacy group, BudgIT among eight of the 36 states of the federation that make their annual budgets transparent.
Mr. Atiku Samuel, Head of Research in BudgIT told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that only Lagos, Kwara Gombe, Ekiti and Kaduna ran transparent budgets. Others are Edo, Bauchi and Kogi.
Samuel said that it was wrong for states not to run transparent budgets, noting that not publishing budgets was contrary to the Federal Government’s anti-corruption drive.
“Publishing budget is part of the 22 conditions given to state governments to access the bailout package.
“A requirement given by the Federal Government for accessing the package is that states should publish their budget documents and budget implementation reports online.
“Lack of publishing budgets by state governments should be frowned at because they leave the citizens with a deficit of information,” he said.
The official added that the lack of information was unhelpful to the citizenry and constituted a challenge to BudgIT which, he said, needed the budgets for planning.
According to Samuel, published annual budgets should contain adequate information to enable citizens to understand them.
Samuel told NAN that BudgIT, which focuses on creating demand for government information, driving accountability and transparency, needed to draw attention to the inadequacy.
He also claimed that there was disconnect between what governments through their Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) presented as budgets and what citizens actually wanted.
The official attributed this to lack of participatory budgeting.
He said that the citizens were not being involved in budget formulation process, adding that there was also little feedback from them.