FG’s Open Treasury Portal Good but not Enough
By Dipo Omoware
Economist and Host of the Money, Business and Economy show on Nigeria Info Tunji Andrews has described the Federal Government’s Open Treasury Portal as a “good tool that needs improvement.”
Tunji was reacting to the newly designed online portal by the Federal Government which is part of the Financial Transparency Policy and Implementation Guidelines launched by President Muhammad Buhari on December 9, 2019. The portal allows citizens track daily financial inflows and outflows into government account.
The Open Treasury Portal was unveiled on Monday by the Executive Secretary, Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, Mr. Waziri Adio in a series of tweets.
According to Waziri, “All MDAs are to publish the following: daily reports of payments from N5m; monthly budget performance; quarterly financial statements; and annual financial statements prepared in compliance with IPSAS.”
“All the reports are to be published within stipulated deadlines on this portal: http://opentreasury.gov.ng. The portal will be open to and can be accessed by all.”
And that is where the problem lies as far as Tunji is concerned.
“There is a problem with the way the data is being uploaded. It’s going to be uploaded as spreadsheets as against graphs. If I am looking at day to day information, it’s a lot of work to me except of course, it’s my job description to actually go day on day to take data from the website but if it not is my duty, it’s going to be a bit difficult for you to be able to pick out that data and that’s the flaw the portal has.”
He pinned that it would have been better if the data could be presented as infographics like the National Bureau of Statistics has done in recent years. That would have been "easy to digest" he said.
He however noted that all hope is not lost.
“It is important to note is that the information is out there now, we can now make better use of what the information is,” he concluded.