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SFTAS: FG Disburses N352 Billion to Nigerian States

SFTAS: FG Disburses N352 Billion to Nigerian States

The Federal Government has disbursed the sum of N351.6 billion to state governments under the States’ Fiscal Transparency Accountability and Sustainability, SFTAS in four years.

SFTAS, a Programme of the World Bank was initiated in 2018 in order to encourage state governments to adopt fiscal measures that conform with openness and accountability in public finance administration.

The National Programme Coordinator, Mr. Stephen Okon, disclosed this while briefing Civil Society Organizations, CSOs, on SFTAS programme sustainability in Abuja at the weekend.

The N351.65 billion is the total sum disbursed out of the $1.5 billion that was released in two tranches the World Bank to engender fiscal transparency in state governments. National programme coordinator for SFTAS, Okon said the outstanding balance will be disbursed in October this year.

Read More: Tax Compliance Relief Programme: FG, World Bank Plan $90m Grant For States

Fielding questions from journalists, Okon said:   “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 been disbursed to states as grants for achievements made in respect of 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.”

The World Bank had made $1.5 billion available to the federal government with which to encourage state governments to be more accountable. On the possibility of extending the programme, Okon said there was no clear position yet, while noting its impact on public finance management at the level of the second tier of government.

He said:  “The programme has achieved so much in building transparency, accountability and sustainability among states, particularly in terms of accountability.

”All the states now 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, we have all the states currently on the same page in terms of matters that relate to 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 among states of the federation.”

Okon added that as part of its strategies to ensure the sustainability of fiscal reforms, the SFTAS Programme Coordination Unit of the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning was engaging stakeholders on the demand side, such as CSOs, who could ensure that fiscal transparency and accountability were sustained in state public finance management.

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