Ekiti leads 36 states in transparency, good governance, says new report

By Samuel Ogunsona

Ekiti State is No 1 among the 36 States in transparency, anti-corruption and good governance, a research by global groups has revealed.

The research which covered the 36 States places Ekiti as No 1. Yobe, the North East State shares the No 1 position with Ekiti. Ironically, Lagos comes last on the table of 36 States.

The research covered 2023 and was released this week by Subnational Audit Efficacy Index, an international non-profit organization fostering public accountability in Nigeria in collaboration with Paradigm Leadership Support Initiative (PLSI).

Experts see the archeivement as little surprising considering the quality of leadership in the State.

The edition made available to Irohinoodua represents the groups’ annual flagship research which places Ekiti State top in the Subnational Audit Efficacy (SAE) Index chart

The report assesses the level of transparency and accountability operational in the management and utilization of public funds and implementation of public policies across all 36 states of the f
Federation through public audit and key actors in the public audit action cycle.

The report being the fourth consecutive annual research was unveiled in Abuja on Thursday.

According to the report, Ekiti and Yobe States are top performers, both attaining a remarkable score of 73% followed by Akwa Ibom and Katsina States, securing 3rd and 4th positions with 60% and 53%, respectively.

Also, Sokoto, Taraba, and Ondo States scored 31%, placing them in the 15th spot, while Benue and Lagos States lagged behind, occupying the 35th and 36th positions with 10% and 5%, respectively.

The SAE Index 2023 again revealed that 34 States except Anambra and Benue have modern audit laws to guarantee the independence of Supreme Audit Institutions and strengthen public audit practices at the state level.

The PLSI’s Executive Director, Olusegun Elemo, said the SAE which initially started in 2021 is a scorecard assessing the temperature of public finance management and policy implementation practices at the state level.

“The Subnational Audit Efficacy Index, initiated in 2021, serves as an annual scorecard assessing the temperature of public finance management and policy implementation practices at the state level. We retained the same methodology deployed for the 2022 assessment and collected, analyzed, and validated data provided by Supreme Audit Institutions, Public Accounts Committees, Offices of Accountant-General,CivilSocietyandMediaOrganizationsinall36StatesoftheFederation.”

“PLSI will continue to utilize evidence from its annual assessment to provide tailored support to subnational governments, especially in delivering technical assistance to strengthen the capacity of relevant state and non-state actors to enhance transparency and accountability practices for improved quality of life for citizens”He said.

However, Findings from the report showed that only 4 out of 36 States have made progress toward implementing financial autonomy and 12 out of 36 States have implemented legal provisions to activate administrative independence for the Office of the Auditor-General. Also, the report noted that none of the 36 States produced standard performance audit reports on government programs, projects, or policies in the 2022 financial year. Furthermore, only 3 out of 36 States are sufficiently involving civic and media actors in the audit process of their states and just 5 out of 36 States have effective Public.

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