FG disburses N43,416bn World Bank facility to 24 States + List

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The Federal Government has disbursed   the   sum  of N43,416,000,000.00  (USD120.6 million) as performance-based grants to 24 eligible States in the country.
Mrs Zainab Ahmed, the Minister of  Finance, Budget and National Planning, disclosed this in a statement signed by Mr. Hassan Dodo, the Ministry’s Director of Press and Public Relations in Abuja.
The statement  explained that the disbursement followed the participation of the 24 eligible States in the recent Annual Performance Assessment (APA) carried out by the Office of the Auditor  General   for   the   Federation   (OAuGF)  as   the   Independent   Verification Agent (IVA) in collaboration with a third party firm, JK Consulting Limited and the SFTAS Programme Coordination Unit (PCU).
The 24 beneficiary States which met the eligibility criteria are  Abia, Adamawa, Bauchi, Benue, Delta, Edo, Ekiti, Enugu, Gombe, Jigawa, Kaduna,  Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Kogi, Kwara, Niger, Ondo, Ogun, Oyo, Osun, Sokoto, Taraba and Yobe States.

It further stated that the disbursement was based on the basis of the results achieved in 2018 under the performance-based grant component of the World Bank-Assisted States Fiscal Transparency, Accountability   and   Sustainability   (SFTAS)   Programme-for-Results, which   is wholly-financed with a loan amount of USD750 million from the  International Development Association (IDA), a member of the World Bank Group.
The   Minister  explained that the disbursement followed the participation of the 24 eligible States in the recent Annual Performance Assessment (APA) carried out by the Office of the Auditor   General   for   the   Federation   (OAuGF)   as   the   Independent   Verification Agent (IVA) in collaboration with a third party firm, JK Consulting Limited and the SFTAS Programme Coordination Unit (PCU).
Mrs. Ahmed pointed out that the SFTAS Programme was established by the Federal Government of Nigeria with the concessional loan of USD750 million to support States through the provision of performance-based grants to States to the tune of $700 million, and technical assistance in the sum of $50 million to enhance their   capacity   to   achieve   the   Disbursement   Linked   Indicators   (DLIs)   i.e.   the Programme results.
According to the statement, the DLIs are derived from the country’s   22-Point   Fiscal   Sustainability   Plan   and   the   14   Open   Government Partnership   (OGP)   commitments   aimed   at   strengthening   fiscal transparency, accountability and sustainability across all States of the Federation.
The Minister disclosed that the Criteria which the States have to meet in order to be eligible  to receive any grants included, the online publication of the approved annual budget, audited financial statement for the previous year; and the DLIs that eligible States receive grants for achieving:improved   financial   reporting   and   budget   reliability; increased   openness   and citizens’   engagement   in   the   budget   process;  improved   cash   management   and reduced   revenue   leakages   through   implementation   of   State   Treasury   Single Account   (TSA);   strengthened   Internally   Generated   Revenue   (IGR)   collection;biometric   registration   and   Bank   Verification   Number   (BVN)   used   to   reduce payroll   fraud.
Others   are   improved   procurement   practices   for   increased transparency   and   value  for   money;   strengthened   public   debt   management   and fiscal responsibility framework; improved clearance/reduction of stock of domestic expenditure arrears; and improved debt sustainability.
She   reiterated   that   the   World   Bank-assisted   SFTAS   Programme   is principally   to   strengthen   fiscal   management   at   the   State   level   so  as to ensure effective mobilization and utilization of financial resources to the benefit of their citizens in a transparent, accountable and sustainable manner, thereby reducing fiscal risks and encouraging a common set of fiscal behaviours.
Mrs. Ahmed observed that the SFTAS programme couldn’t have come at a better time than now given the dwindling government revenue occasioned by oil price volatility coupled with the current impact of COVID-19 which has further intensified the need for improved practices in fiscal transparency, accountability and sustainability as enunciated in the SFTAS ideals.
She recalled that in 2018, the first year of the Programme, only 24 States met the Eligibility Criteria. She also disclosed that those States declared ineligible for 2018 failed to publish their annual budgets and audited financial statements online within the time frame as stipulated by the SFTAS Programme Operation Manual (POM).
The statement further identified the 12 States that missed out on the 2018 grants because they did not meet the Eligibility Criteria as Akwa Ibom, Anambra,Bayelsa, Borno, Cross River, Ebonyi, Imo, Lagos, Nasarawa, Plateau, Rivers and Zamfara States.
However, the SFTAS Programme accommodates different starting points,   hence   the   12   States   can   still   participate   in   the   2019,2020   and   2021 respective performance years by meeting the EC and DLIs in the said years.
“The total sum of (N43,416,000,000.00)  USD120.6 Million has  thus far been disbursed  to  the  qualified  24  States  based  on  their  performance.  Kaduna  State achieved  the   highest   number   of   results   (nine)   and   got   the  highest   share   with N3,960,000,000.00,  while   Katsina   and   Benue   got   the  lowest   amount   of N540,000,000.00 each”, the statement added.

(Prompt News)

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