The Development Bank of Nigeria (DBN) has emerged as the highest-ranked Nigeria’s public institution in the 2023 Transparency and Integrity Index (TII) recently released by the Center for Fiscal Transparency and Integrity Watch.
The index which was put together by the Centre for Fiscal Transparency and Integrity Watch (CeFTIW) in collaboration with the Bureau for Public Sector Reform, with support from the MacArthur Foundation assessed 511 MDAs and public sector institutions on their level of transparency and accountability in government processes.
To retain its first position, DBN scored 73.26 percent, moving up from the 58.74 percent it scored in 2022, a testament to the bank’s commitment to promoting transparency, accountability, and proactive partnerships.
George Akume, Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), said in a statement made available to BusinessDay on Wednesday that access to information is a powerful tool that empowers citizens to request and access government-held information.
According to him, these tools are essential to reinforce good governance as it enhances openness and accountability.
“Proactive disclosure of information as enshrined in the Freedom of Information Act seeks to enable public institutions to adopt a proactive stance in disclosing information to the public,” said Akume, who was represented by Maurice Mbaeri, the Permanent Secretary, Cabinet Office.
Angela Nworgu, chairman, board of trustees, CeFTIW, said that the centre introduced the transparency and integrity index as an annual assessment of public institutions’ compliance with national laws and international conventions aimed at minimizing corruption.
“The Index was developed to strengthen already existing fiscal transparency legal frameworks, institutional capacity on the requirement of these frameworks and most importantly build a well-informed citizenry that holds the government accountable,” she stated.
Tony Okpanachi, the managing director/CEO, DBN, reacting to the development said that the ranking is a reflection of the bank’s corporate governance, ethics and processes.
According to him, the DBN aligns with market conventions to ensures complete financial sustainability of MSMEs in Nigeria.
He also said that the recent CeFTIW ranking highlights the bank’s commitment to uphold strong corporate governance practices and fostering transparent and excellent relationships with its various stakeholders.
“This report underscores our unwavering dedication to fulfilling our mandate, which involves addressing the financing challenges encountered by Micro, Small, and Medium Scale Enterprises (MSMEs) in Nigeria,” Okpanachi said.