Mr Udom Emmanuel, Governor, Akwa Ibom State.

Akwa Ibom State has emerged the most transparent public funds manager in Nigeria, a group, Paradigm Leadership Support Initiative,disclosed that the state scored 69 per cent to clinch the first position of subnational Audit Efficacy (SAE) Index 2022 report. The state won third place last year.

Yobe came second with 63, Katsina came third with 50 per cent, Delta and Edo garnered 48 to place fourth in the ranking, while Borno and Kano Statesbscored five and three to take 35th and 36th position, respectively.

Announcing the result in Abuja, the Initiative’s Executive Director, Olusegun Elemo, said the reportnwas meant to acess the level of transparency and accountability operational in the management and utilisation of public funds in 36 states of the federation.

Elemo added: “We aim to identifying areas where government institutions at subnational level require support to optimize their public finance management practices, improves existing structures that would accelerate development.

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In the last eight months,must research team collected, analysed and validated data provided by the offices of Accountant-General, Supreme Audit Institutions, Public Account Committees and others to arrive at their results”.

Also, its Board Chairman, Rev. Polycarp Gbaja, stated that they believe Index 2022 report will further provide necessary feedback to them and to other development institutions on areas of accountability actors that require support.

Baja declared: Although Bauchi and Osun were ranked first in the 2021 report, the assessment itself provided significant diagnostic feedback to us and we have leveraged that to begin to assist five states under MacArthur Foundation Audit programme.

Responding on behalf of Akwa Ibom, its Auditor General, Mr Isaiah Ntekim, said the new position was as a result of mobilising all critical stakeholders in the sector through an accountability forum to stabilise the Public Account Committees in the State.

Culled: The Guardian.