Publish Your 2022 Budget, 2021 Budget Performance - Policy Alert Tells Rivers State

Nyesom Wike, Governor of Rivers State



Press Release

February 21, 2022


PUBLISH YOUR 2022 BUDGET, 2021 BUDGET PERFORMANCE, POLICY ALERT TELLS RIVERS STATE


Policy Alert, a civil society organisation (CSO) working to improve economic and ecological justice in the Niger Delta, has called on the Government of Rivers State to publish its 2022 approved budget and budget implementation report (BIR) for 2021.


The call was made in a statement today by Nneka Luke-Ndumere, Communication and Stakeholder Engagement Officer of the organisation, during the re-launch of its #OurBudgetOurMoney campaign in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital.


During the event, which also featured the presentation of an analysis of the 2022 approved budgets and budget implementation reports of the nine states of the Niger Delta, the CSO commended the governments of Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Edo, Bayelsa, Ondo, Abia, Imo and Delta States for publishing both their 2022 approved budgets and 2021 full-year budget implementation report, while noting that Rivers State is the only state in the Niger Delta that has yet to publish these two important financial documents.


Luke-Ndumere said: "We must note that this has been an unfortunate trend with Rivers State. The state ranked the least among the South-South States in the Subnational Budget Transparency Index 2020. It has also tailed behind other Niger Delta states in all the annual performance assessments for the States Fiscal Transparency, Accountability and Sustainability program-for-results (SFTAS) implemented by the federal government and the World Bank.


“The government of Rivers State must make a deliberate effort to reverse this narrative. It is a paradox that while Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State has been leading the charge for subnational fiscal autonomy, the state under his watch has failed to put in place the necessary transparency and accountability safeguards to reduce the vulnerability of its public finance system to corruption and other governance risks.”


The statement further noted that “openness around government’s financial transactions ensures that citizens and accountability institutions can follow government programmes and actions, having access to vital information needed to hold the government at all levels accountable.”


It enjoined Rivers State to emulate the other eight states of Niger Delta that have made their documents public, noting, “When these documents are published, citizens are enlightened on government’s plans for them and how it intends to execute these plans. It also helps citizens understand how their resources were managed during the previous fiscal year, thereby reinforcing their trust in the government.”


Policy Alert's spokesperson also said the organisation had launched a social media campaign tagged #PublishRiversBudget, calling on members of the public and other Civil Society Organisations to support the campaign for the Government of Rivers State to publish its annual budgets and other fiscal documents online.


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MEDIA CONTACT:

Nneka Luke-Ndumere

08129104477

nneka.luke@policyalert.org

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