In the 2021 Chartered Institute of Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) Accountability Index, three northern states, namely Jigawa, Kaduna, and Bauchi, has emerged as the top performers. This prestigious index, established in 2017, serves as a mechanism for assessing public finance management and governance practices in Nigeria.
Furthermore, Edo and Niger states secured the fourth and fifth positions, respectively, showcasing their commendable efforts in promoting accountability.
The award ceremony took place at the ICAN headquarters in Victoria Island, Lagos, where the outstanding states were recognized and honored during the public presentation of the 2020 and 2021 ICAN-AI reports.
Mallam Tijjani Isa, the President of ICAN, highlighted the growing influence and interest in Nigeria’s public finance management system as the program gains traction. Despite facing challenges such as the global COVID-19 pandemic and the ENDSARS protests, ICAN remained committed to upholding best practices and delivering high-quality reports.
These reports serve as a true reflection of the Public Financial Management (PFM) performances of the Nigerian government, addressing major gaps identified in previous editions. The low availability of publicly accessible fiscal information across the three tiers of government was a significant concern in the initial 2017 and 2018 reports.
Encouragingly, the 2020 and 2021 reports demonstrated substantial progress, with a marked increase in the availability of information during assessment exercises. Overall information availability reached 50% and 53%, respectively, representing significant improvements from the average availability rates of 28% in 2018 and 35% in 2019.
Oladele Oladipo, Chairman of the ICAN-AI Technical Subcommittee, emphasized that the primary objective of the index is to promote a high-quality PFM system in Nigeria. It aims to foster the development of robust and credible PFM databases, encourage the creation of credible medium-term plans, and drive accountability among stakeholders.
The ICAN Accountability Index serves as a beacon of excellence, recognizing states that exhibit an exceptional commitment to transparency, responsible governance, and effective financial management. Jigawa, Kaduna, Bauchi, and other distinguished participants set a commendable example for the entire nation to follow, propelling Nigeria toward a future defined by accountable and sustainable development.