Imo State and some states did not benefit from Federal Government’s N123.348 billion (USD 324.6 million) to the states in the Federation.
Imo, and others were not among Federal Government Fiscal Transparency and Sustainability (SFTAS) Programme.
32 States benefited from the programme for their achievements in the just concluded 2019 Annual Performance Assessment (APA)
Nigeria’s Minister of Finance, Mrs Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed who disclosed this in a statement signed by Mr. Hassan Dodo, the Ministry’s Director of Press, revealed that the disbursement included N91.048 billion (USD 239.6 million) of performance- based grants for the 2019 APA results achieved by 32 eligible states, across various Disbursements linked indicators (DLIS) covering fiscal transparency, expenditure efficiency, revenue mobilization and debt sustainability.
“Bayelsa, Imo, Rivers and Zamfara states got zero allocation due to their inability to meet the 2019 eligibility criteria which required states to publish online approved annual budgets and audited fianancial statements within a specific time frame” she said
According to the statement, states received grants in line with the number of results achieved, with Sokoto States receiving the highest amount of N6.612 billion while Kano States got the lowerst of N1.710 billion.
She further noted that the 2019 APA results were a significant improvement on the 2018 APA results where the total performance-based grants of N43.416 billion (USD120.6 million) were received by 24 Eligible States, demonstrating the substantive progress States have made on fiscal reforms.
The minister added that “the second part of the disbursement involved a new COVID-19 response DLI: The implementation of a tax compliance relief programme for individual tax payers and businesses by States by 30 September 2020 where 34 out of 36 States (only Anambra and Zamfara States missed out) were able to achieve the results for this new DLI for the total of N32.3 billion (USD 85 million) of grants”.
“This round of disbursement is coming after the recent one in November, 2020 by the Federal Government where the sum of N66.5billion (USD175 million) was granted to 35 States which achieved results under another new COVID-19 response DLI: the passing of an Amended COVID-19 Responsive 2020 Budget by 31 July 2020.
The Minister observed that since the first disbursement in April 2020, the Federal Government has so far disbursed the total sum of N233 billion(USD620.6million) to the States under the US $750 million World Bank-Assisted States Fiscal Transparency, Accountability and Sustainability (SFTAS) Programme-for-Results.
Mrs. Ahmed reiterated that the World Bank-assisted SFTAS Programme is principally meant to strengthen fiscal management at the state level so as to ensure effective mobilisation and utilisation 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 fiscally responsible behaviours.
She noted that the SFTAS programme could not have come at a better time, given the dwindling government revenue occasioned by oil price volatility and 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.
ADDITIONAL REPORT: THE NATION