National Budget and Debt as Measures of Public Sector Performance: Empirical Evidence from Nigeria
Changing the bureaucratic culture of public sector into one that stresses client service and achievement of results, require public sector to clearly define its objectives and priorities as well as assessing its performance against well-defined benchmarks. The objective of this study is to empirically investigate the relationship between national budget and debt as measures of public sector performance. The data for the study were basically secondary data about Nigeria government as an emerging economy for the period 1960-2010. The data so collected were subjected to regression analysis, with budget performance as the independent variable and domestic, external and national debt as dependent variables. Augmented Dickey-Fuller Tests equation was employed to perform unit root tests for stationary and cointegration tests. The findings show that there is significant relationship between budget performance and domestic, external and national debt and these are appropriate and adequate in measuring public sector. The results also indicate that the poorer the budget performance the more the burden of national debt and its attendant cost, resulting into poor public sector performance and national underdevelopment. It is recommended that government should as a matter of transparent accountability prepare budget on accrual basis and put in place structures and mechanisms that will ensure the enactment of federal law making provisions for the amount that the government can borrow and the debt ceiling, which can only be increased with a vote by National Assembly.
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