For a second year running, the Development Bank of Nigeria (DBN) emerged Nigeria’s highest-ranked public institution in the 2023 for transparency and integrity index.
The bank was named recently in a statement by the Centre for Fiscal Transparency and Integrity Watch(CeFTIW), which put together the index in collaboration with the Bureau for Public Sector Reform.
The publication was supported by the MacArthur Foundation, assessed by 511 ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) as well as public sector institutions on their level of transparency and accountability in government processes.
To retain its first position, the organisers said DBN scored 73.26%, moving up from the 58.74% it scored in 2022.
In conferring the award on DBN, the organisers said it was a testament to its commitment to promote transparency, accountability, and proactive partnerships.
At the public presentation of the transparency and integrity index, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, George Akume, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Cabinet Office, Maurice Mbaeri, pointed out that “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”.
Akume noted that while access to information was a powerful tool that empowers citizens to request and access government-held information, these “tools are essential to reinforce good governance as it enhances openness and accountability”.
Also speaking, the Chairman, Board of Trustees, CeFTIW, Angela Nworgu explained that the centre introduced the Transparency and Integrity Index as an annual assessment of public institutions’ compliance with national laws and international conventions that promote transparency, and accountability and minimize 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”, Nworgu said.
In his reaction to the award, the Managing Director/CEO, of Development Bank of Nigeria, Tony Okpanachi, expressed delight at the report, regarding the ranking as a reflection of the company’s corporate governance, ethics and processes.
“Once more, the recent CeFTIW ranking highlights our commitment to upholding strong corporate governance practices and fostering transparent and excellent relationships with our various stakeholders, strategic partners, and clients. These principles remain central to our institutional core values,” Okpanachi said.
“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,” he added.
He said the bank was able to record these achievements by offering financing, partial credit guarantees, and technical assistance to eligible financial intermediaries in a manner that aligns with market conventions and ensures complete financial sustainability.
The MD reassured that the bank would continue to actively promote the principles of accountability, transparency, sustainability, excellence, diversity, and innovation that were deeply embedded in its corporate philosophy.