The Imo State Government, on Tuesday, said its fiscal transparency earned it more than $30 million (N21 billion) grant from the World Bank in a period spanning three years (2020, 2021 and 2022).
The state Commissioner for Budget, Economic Planning and Statistics, Christopher Osuala, speaking with the Special Adviser to the Governor on Public Enlightenment, Eze Ugochukwu, disclosed that the state governor, Hope Uzodimma, had taken a decision to conform to the bank’s State Fiscal Transparency Accountability and Sustainability programme, according to a report by The Guardian.
Osuala added that the state was working assiduously to earn a 2023 grant in the same capacity from the bank.
He noted that the funds were utilised in infrastructural projects execution since the Uzodimma-led administration came on board, adding that no previous administration had achieved it since the state was created in 1976, according to The Guardian.
Speaking on how the state got the grant, including components of the programme, Osuala, said, “The SFTAS is a programme by the World Bank and Federal Government of Nigeria to deepen transparency in budgeting processes for qualified states.
“The SFTAS consists of different requirements in form of Disbursement Link Indicators, which are assigned tasks that the World Bank designed for institutions, as well as states that are qualified to participate in Budgeting and Budgetary Performance Indicators.
“The second component is Disbursement Linked Results, which World Bank’s Independent Verification Assessors use as yardsticks to assess institutions and states’ performance compliance in relation to DLIs performance evaluation. The synopsis of the SFTAS is predicated on Performance for Results. This means that states can earn financial grant reward after performance in all indicators of budgetary requirements; then World Bank rewards the state based on results of its efforts.”
He added that the state’s budget cycle played a crucial role in achieving the feat, The Guardian report says.
He said, “The state earns grants based on the DLIs that are successfully achieved within the budget cycle. It is vital that since the inception of Imo State in 1976, none of the previous administrations have been able to link the state’s budget to World Bank Budgetary Transparency Programmes. The Uzodimma’s government is the only administration that has accomplished this feat through publication of the Citizen Budget in accordance to World Bank’s requirements.”