By Ralph EJIMKONYE, ABUJA
Imo State is among 13 states not listed by the Federal Government as beneficiary of its disbursement of N43.416 performance grants to 24 eligible states in the federation
A statement by the Director of Press and Public Relations in the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Hassan Dodo, stated that the 24 states were eligible for the grant under the performance based grant component of the World Bank- Assisted States Fiscal Transparency, Accountability and Sustainability (STFAS) Programme For Results achieved in 2018.
According to the statement, the Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed said the 24 states which benefited from the grant 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.
The states met the eligibility criteria.
The Minister explained that the project was wholly-financed with a loan amount of 750 million dollars from the International Development Association (IDA), a member of the World Bank Group.
She said 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).
The Minister explained that the SFTAS Programme was established by Federal Government with the concessional loan of 750 million dollars to support States through the provision of performance-based grants to States to the tune of 700 million dollars.
She said the programme also included the technical assistance in the sum of 50 million dollars to enhance their capacity to achieve the Disbursement Linked Indicators (DLIs).
“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 Eligibility Criteria (EC) that States have to meet in order to qualify to receive any grants include the online publication of the approved annual budget and 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).
“Also strengthening 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 and reduction of stock of domestic expenditure arrears and improved debt sustainability,” she added.