The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has urged all state governors in Nigeria to make public full details of their asset declarations submitted to the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB).
SERAP said Nigerians ought to know the worth of their state governors, adding that the publication of asset declarations by state governors will improve transparency, accountability and good governance.
In a statement on Sunday by SERAP deputy director Kolawole Oluwadare, the organization said: “Public officials cannot lay claim to absolute privacy in matters of asset declarations.
“There is an overriding public interest in the disclosure of information on the assets of public officials, including state governors, who are trustees of Nigeria’s wealth and resources.
“There is nothing inherently private in the affairs of governors, and we will consider appropriate legal action if state governors continue to fail or refuse to publish their asset declarations.”
The organization also urged the Chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) and Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, to encourage all the members of NGF who have not yet done so to declare their assets and to publish their declarations submitted to the CCB without delay.
SERAP added: “As fiduciaries and trustees of the public weal, state governors are under an inescapable obligation to serve the public with highest fidelity and openness. In discharging the duties of their office, they are required to display good faith, honesty and integrity.
“They must be impervious to corrupting influences and they must transact their business frankly and openly in the light of public scrutiny so that the public may know and be able to judge them and their work fairly.”
“Transparency in asset declarations is needed to check against corruption and to hold the governors accountable to the governed.
“Publishing the asset declarations by governors would help address the high level of public distrust and dissatisfaction with spending of security votes by state governors, enable closer relations between state governors and the public, and secure the confidence of the citizens in their governments.”