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States got N351.6bn grant in 4 years, says World Bank-SFTAS  – VELOXNEWS


From Uche Usim, Abuja

The 36 States of the Federation have received N351,650,867,450 billion grant in the last four years, under the States’ Fiscal Transparency Accountability and Sustainability (SFTAS) Programme of the World Bank and Federal Government. 

Daily Sun earlier reported that the disbursement of the second tranche of the $750 million grant to the state governments that met the Disbursement Linked Indicators (DLIs) commenced recently, thus bringing the total SFTAS disbursements to $1.5 billion.

The National Programme Coordinator of SFTAS Mr. Stephen Okon made the disclosure in Abuja at the weekend after interfacing with Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), on SFTAS programme’s sustainability.

According to him, SFTAS “had started disbursing the second tranche of the $750 million long ago and in fact it might interest you to note that up till now about N262 billion naira have being disbursed to states as grants for achievements made in respect of the what we call the Disbursement Linked Indicators (DLIs)”.

He added that SFTAS was in the process of making more disbursement for the 2020 Annual Performance Assessment (APA) and the 2021 APA.

“The 2021 APA which we expect to disburse in October will be the last of this disbursement”.

On the possibility of extending the programme, Okon said “no clear position has been taken on its extension but because of the impact on the states and public finance management, it’s not impossible that such considerations may be explored moving forward”.

The programme, he added, has achieved so much in building transparency, accountability and sustainability amongst the states particularly in terms of accountability.

The SFTAS programme, he reckoned, has now made “all the states publish their budget and their end of year account on a timely basis and we also have had all the states improve their internally generated revenue”.

In terms of building a basis for comparison among the states, Okon said: “we have all the states currently on the same page in terms of matters that relate to the TSA, matters that relate to procurement law, matters that relate to audit law, almost all the states in the federation now have all these in place and it has really promoted accountability and transparency amongst the states of the federation”.

One of the participants, Dr Saied Tafida of Transparency and Accountability in Totality said “the key aspects of transparency or where you mention transparency will be on matters of budget, matters of audited account of states so when you have that information in public domain then it means that there is obviously information for the society, for civil society organizations for other members of the society to interrogate so there is better openness than before the programme was established”.

The SFTAS Programme aims to significantly improve outcomes of participating states in four key results areas (KRA’s): Increase Fiscal Transparency and Accountability; Strengthen Domestic Revenue Mobilization; Increase Efficiency in Public Expenditure and Strengthen Debt Sustainability

Established in 2018, SFTAS disbursed N262 billion out of the initial $750 million grant to the State governments in an effort to deepen transparency, accountability and fiscal discipline in general, as it relates to budgeting processes and financial management.

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