Open budget systems and participatory budgeting in Africa: A comparative analysis of Nigeria and Ghana, 2012 and 2015

Emeka C. Iloh
Research Fellow
African Heritage Institution, Enugu
Nigeria
E-mail: iloh.emeka@gmail.com

Michael E. Nwokedi, Ph.D
Lecturer
Department of Political Science, Madonna University, Okija
Anambra State, Nigeria
E-mail: nwokedi2002@yahoo.com

Chikamso C. Apeh

Research Associate
African Heritage Institution, Enugu
Nigeria
E-mail: apehchikamso@yahoo.com

Chizoba Obidigbo
Research Associate
African Heritage Institution, Enugu
Nigeria
E-mail: chizobaobidigbo@gmail.com

 

Reference to this paper should be made as follows:

Iloh, E. C., Nwokedi, M. E. Apeh, C. C. & Obidigbo, C. (2018). Open budget systems and participatory budgeting in Africa: A comparative analysis of Nigeria and Ghana, 2012 and 2015. Asian International Journal of Social Sciences, 17(4), 45 – 74. https://doi.org/10.29139/aijss.20170403

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Abstract

Nigeria and Ghana have so many things in common. Apart from sharing the same colonial history and being located in the same West African sub-region, they also practice the same executive presidential system of government. However, this study is an attempt to do a comparative analysis of the budgetary systems of both countries, with a view to understanding how open and transparent the processes are, and the extent to which they allow for public participation. The aim is to identify the differences and similarities (if any). The study was anchored on the Marxist theory of the state. Our analysis showed that in terms of openness and transparency of the system, budget processes in Ghana were more open and transparent both in 2012 and in 2015 than what obtained in Nigeria in those years. As regards public participation in the process, the study also discovered that the government of Ghana created more opportunities for the public to participate in the process than the government of Nigeria. The comprador bourgeois class in Nigeria, because of its interest in primitive accumulation, ensures that budgeting in Nigeria is its exclusive preserve. This is because it is through the budget that it allocates funds to service the interest of its members. Conversely, the national bourgeoisie in Ghana, to a large extent, carries the citizens along in the budget process. However, though Ghana has made appreciable progress in this regard, there is still room for improvement. Finally, the study made a case for participatory budgeting for both countries.

Keywords: budget, budget process, citizens’ participation, governance, participatory budgeting

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