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Here’s how citizens are tracking daily disbursements at the federal level.

October 21, 2021

Monitoring FG’s daily payments has never been this easy. Here, I’ll explain. Back in 2019, when the federal government launched the open treasury portal, we commended its efforts. It was a big win, primarily because it created an avenue for the citizens to know and monitor the government’s daily disbursements. However, there was just one issue. Data uploaded on the portal were complicated to read. Many Nigerians had issues navigating the platform and the numerous non-downloadable PDFs, making it difficult to analyse and make much sense of the figures.

On the other part, creating this portal only took care of one part of our advocacy — transparency. It would be nearly impossible for citizens to demand accountability if they cannot grasp what the figures mean at first glance. Yes, the data was in the public domain, but it was still difficult to track. This became a concern for us and many others out there. As the days went by, we needed to make it easy for citizens to read and understand figures on the portal. 

To this end, we launched the govspend.ng platform in August 2021, to address this concern. Now the www.govspend.ng was built differently from the open treasury portal. While, the portal gives you access to FG’s daily treasury reports, the govspend.ng simplifies these reports to make it easier for the citizens to understand.

Our aim is to ensure that the citizens, media and CSOs have all they need to demand accountability and the effective usage of these funds.

For example, between January and May 2021, FG made 28456 payments to MDAs totalling N2.21 trillion. March racked in the highest number of payments (10872), followed by May (5499), April(4493)  and February(3704). Within this period, payments without description on the portal totalled N2.05 billion, whilst payments made to personal accounts stood at N4.95 billion.

Recall that we raised an alarm over suspicious payments to personal accounts in June 2020. This propelled the government to look into the issues we raised by setting up a committee. As of February 2021, questionable payments have reduced by a large percentage. This was a big win, but it shouldn’t stop there.

The citizens, media and CSOs need to join our advocacy for good governance by leveraging data from this platform to demand good use of public funds and effective service delivery to the public.

The other aspect of our findings highlights MDAs with the highest and lowest expenditures. 

The Ministry of Defence(N479bn), Federal Ministry of Education(N263bn) and the Ministry of Finance(N195bn) were among the 5 MDAs with the highest expenditure. At the same time, the Ministry of Aviation(N14bn), Ministry of Petroleum Resources(N12bn) and Ministry of Foreign Affairs (N5bn) racked in the lowest.

One significant suspicious expenditure that we found was the payment of N2.5 billion by the Office of the Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta Affairs to 8 individual accounts. 

How do we ascertain that these stipends were paid to the actual beneficiaries? Answers will not come if we do not #AskQuestions and #GetInvolved.

You can start by visiting the www.govspend.ng platform to know more about FG’s daily reports.

Also, follow us on our Social Media platforms @budgitng to join your voice with ours.