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24 states get N43.4bn World Bank grant for transparency

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Ifeanyi Onuba, Abuja

The Federal Government on Wednesday said it had disbursed N43.41bn ($120.6m) to 24 states under the performance-based grant component of the World Bank-Assisted States Fiscal Transparency, Accountability and Sustainability Programme-for-Results.

The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, said this in a statement issued on Wednesday.

The SFTAS is a $750m programme to reward states for meeting any or all of the nine indicators that demonstrate improvements in fiscal transparency, accountability and sustainability.

The nine indicators are an offshoot of the previous Fiscal Sustainability Plan of the Federal Government where states were to be rewarded for meeting up to 22 targets.

The World Bank had supported the Federal Government to incentivise the states to properly achieve the 22-point Fiscal Sustainability Plan, which had now been redesigned as the nine Disbursement Linked Indicators under the SFTAS.

The SFTAS programme is part of efforts of the Federal Government to further enhance the transparency and accountability in the use of public resources through the implementation of the Open Government Partnership which Nigeria signed to in July 2016.

The programme is expected to cover the fiscal performance of states between 2018 to 2021.

The finance minister in the statement signed by the Director of Press in the ministry, Mr Hassan Dodo, explained that the disbursement followed the participation of the 24 eligible states in the annual performance assessment.

The assessment was carried out by the Office of the Auditor General for the Federation.

Ahmed in the statement said the release of the fund under the SFTAS programme was timely, given the dwindling government revenue.

She said while 24 states met the criteria, others failed to publish their annual budgets.

The statement said Kaduna State achieved the highest number of result (nine) and got the highest share with $11m while Katsina and Benue got the lowest amount of $1.5m each.

Further breakdown showed that Abia got $4.8m; Adamawa ($3m), Bauchi ($6.3m); Delta ($4.5m); Edo ($6m); Ekiti ($2.8m); Enugu ($4m); and Gombe ($6.8m).

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