Reprieve has come the way of 24 states whose financial records have been adjudged by the World Bank as transparent. Accordingly, they are sharing a $120.6 million grant (about N43.416 billion) provided by the global lender under its the Assisted States Fiscal Transparency, Accountability and Sustainability Programme-for-Results.
The transparency fund is not a loan, therefore, it is not to be repaid by the beneficiaries.
Unfortunately, Lagos and four states in the South-South, namely Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Rivers and Bayelsa missed the mark, as it was believed they were found wanting in their fiscal transparency.
Also, missing out were Ebonyi, Imo, Anambra, Nasarawa, Plateau and Zamfara states.
The Lucky ones include Abia, Adamawa, Bauchi, Benue, Delta, Edo, Ekiti, Enugu, Gombe, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Kogi, Kwara, Niger and Ondo.
The rest are Ogun, Oyo, Osun, Sokoto, Taraba and Yobe.
According to the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, Kaduna scored the highest point in the exercise undertaken by the office of the Auditor-General for the Federation on behalf of the global financial institution and was awarded the highest amount of N3.96 billion.
The information was contained in a statement released by the ministry and signed by its Director in charge of Information and Press, Hassan Dodo.
It read in part: “ The Federal Government of Nigeria has disbursed the sum of N43,416,000,000.00 ($120.6 million) as performance-based grants to 24 eligible states on the basis of the results achieved in 2018 under the performance-based grant component of the World Bank-Assisted States Fiscal Transparency, Accountability and Sustainability (SFTAS) Programme-for-Results, which is wholly-financed with a loan amount of $750 million from the International Development Association (IDA), a member of the World Bank Group.”
Ahmed explained 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) as the Independent Verification Agent (IVA) in collaboration with a third-party firm, JK Consulting Limited, and the SFTAS Programme Coordination Unit (PCU).
The minister recalled that the SFTAS programme was established by the Federal Government with the concessional loan of $750 million to support states through the provision of performance-based grants to the tune of $700 million, and technical assistance in the sum of $50 million to enhance their capacity to achieve the Disbursement Linked Indicators (DLIs) – the programme results.