33 States Benefit From World Bank’s $750m Fiscal Programme
The World Bank has said that about 33 states of the federation are currently benefiting from its $750m States Fiscal Transparency, Accountability and Sustainability Programme.
The World Bank Country Director, Shubham Chaudhur, said this on Tuesday in Abuja at the inauguration of members of the national steering committee of the programme.
The committee to be headed by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance, Mahmoud Isa-Dutse, was inaugurated by the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed.
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The SFTAS programme is an upgraded government initiative towards enhancing public financial management by promoting fiscal discipline at sub-national level.
Its aim is to strengthen fiscal transparency, accountability and sustainability in the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory.
To benefit from the programme, states must meet about 22 criteria some of which are biometric capture of all civil servants; the establishment of an efficiency unit; implementation of continuous audit; improvement in internally generated revenue and measures to achieve sustainable debt management.
The programme is expected to cover the fiscal performance of states between 2018 and 2021.
The World Bank Country Director said that in the first year of the programme, about 24 states were enlisted while the number rose to 33 states in the second year.
The finance minister while inaugurating the committee said that their tasks would be to review the progress in the implementation of the programme; to review the status of disbursements to states; and to review the status of Project Coordination Unit’s monitoring and evaluation, communication and outreach activities.
Other terms of reference for the committee include to review the status of delivery of the capacity building programme across the states by implementing agencies and partners; and to provide strategic guidance for the programme.
Ahmed said, “This is an important programme to the government and all hands must be on deck to ensure its success.
“It is gratifying to note that the implementation of the programme has commenced in earnest with a fully-functional Programme Coordination Unit domiciled in the Home Finance Department, Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning.
“This underscores the need for the National Steering Committee to be brought on board in order to support the PCU to accelerate the pace of programme implementation.”
She said the National Steering Committee was expected to give strategic direction to the PCU and ensure the smooth implementation of the programme.
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