To the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria

  • Enact and sign into law the Freedom of Information, Fiscal Responsibility and Public Audit and Accountability bills without delay.
  • Authorize and fund the publication of performance data on state and local governments to encourage good governance and transparency.
  • Work with civil society to reform the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to provide it greater institutional independence.
  • Provide a truer picture of the financial resources over which local governments have direct control over by publishing the amount of federal deductions to local government monthly allocations.
  • End the practice of distributing local government allocations through the state governments by developing mechanisms to pass them directly to the local government councils. In the interim, require state governments to publish federal funds allocated to local governments, including the amount the state government withheld from local government allocations.
  • Subject the discretionary spending of governors and local government chairpersons to greater oversight; require that the actual use of funds allocated to discretionary budget lines be reported in detail and made public.

To the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission

  • Be more proactive in launching and following through on criminal investigations into credible allegations of corruption.
  • Investigate pervasive allegations of local government corruption in Rivers State in greater depth even where information presented by outside petitioners is not by itself enough to warrant prosecution.

To the State Governments

  • Make public quarterly budget execution reports that detail monthly state government income from federal allocations and other sources, and state government expenditures, including allocations to local governments.
  • Hold public hearings in various state locales as part of the budget-making process to allow for greater public scrutiny of government spending priorities.
  • Require local governments to make public quarterly budget execution reports, as well as local government budgets and expenditure reports when they are submitted to the state government.
  • Publish annual state budgets immediately upon their passage and disseminate these widely, including by posting them on the internet.
  • Introduce clear procedures for the handling of local government allocations deposited by the federal government into state-controlled joint allocation accounts, and publish the actual amounts distributed to the local governments each month.
  • Improve availability of information on public investment projects. Require bulletin boards in public places for publicly funded projects, to inform local communities on the nature of the projects, total project costs, sources of funds, the timetable for project completion, and the name and address of the contactors carrying out the work. Make public all contracts awarded by government to private contractors. Require or encourage local governments to do the same.

To the Government of Rivers State

  • Significant increases in state government financial resources should be reflected in increased budgetary expenditures for health and education so as to progressively realize these basic rights.
  • Publish the state’s budget for 2007 and future years along with the budgets of the state’s 23 local governments. Also publish the supplementary budgets passed by the state House of Assembly in 2005 and 2006. Publish a detailed accounting of state government expenditures in 2006.
  • Encourage and assist local civil society participation in the state’s oversight of local government councils. Publish all reports issued by the Auditor General for Local Government and Ministry of Local Government Affairs in the course of carrying out their oversight responsibilities.

To the Local Governments

  • Take all necessary steps to ensure that international legal requirements to provide for primary health care and primary education are met.
  • Hold public hearings as part of the budget-making process to allow for greater public scrutiny of government spending priorities. Publish annual budgets and end-of-year expenditure reports and make these widely available to the public.
  • Introduce public bulletin boards outside of the local government secretariat and other prominent public places in the Local Government Area. Post the total amount of the allocations received by the local government each month.
  • Post detailed accountings of all local government spending on the health and education sectors to coincide with the production of the local government’s end-of-year expenditure report.
  • Post information on publicly funded projects, to inform local communities on the nature of the projects, total project costs, sources of funds, the timetable for project completion, and the name and address of the contactors carrying out the work.

To Foreign Governments and Donor Agencies

  • Prioritize programs to improve good governance and transparency of state and local governments in Nigeria.
  • Support independent comparative evaluation of state-level performance to promote good governance and transparency. This could include the regular preparation and publication of an index of state transparency.
  • Insist upon the timely publication and wide dissemination of budgets, expenditure reports, and audits when providing aid and other forms of cooperation to Nigeria’s federal, state and local governments alike. In the event that state and local governments are unwilling to undertake these measures, examine the feasibility of ways to provide needed social services directly to affected communities instead of through aid to government, while at the same time continuing to insist on government reforms, in a manner consistent with the principles laid out in the World Bank’s strategy for strengthening engagement on governance and anti-corruption issues.2
  • Consistent with the principles articulated by the World Bank’s anti-corruption strategy and the United States government’s anti-kleptocracy initiative, improve governmental efforts to prevent officials in foreign countries from hiding the proceeds of corruption in Western financial institutions and help the governments of those countries to recover stolen assets that have been invested abroad. Make assertive use of prerogatives to deny corrupt foreign government officials the right to enter the country or invest money there.

To Foreign Companies Operating in the Niger Delta

  • Publish and ensure wide public dissemination of regular and detailed accountings of all development, social and humanitarian expenditures undertaken by the company in the Niger Delta in order to differentiate private from public funding, and make government expenditures more transparent.

2 See, for example, Joint Ministerial Committee of the Boards of Governors of the Bank and the Fund on the Transfer of Real Resources to Developing Countries, Strengthening Bank Group Engagement on Governance and Anti-Corruption, September 8, 2006, pp. 37-38, (accessed December 19, 2006).