The federal government Wednesday said N471.9 billion has been disbursed to state governments out of the $1.5 billion World Bank-assisted States Fiscal Transparency, Accountability and Sustainability (SFTAS) Programme for Results (PforR).
This was disclosed by the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, at the launch of the states charter to sustain fiscal transparency, accountability and sustainability reforms held at the State House Conference Centre in Abuja.
The minister, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary Mr Aliyu Ahmed said beyond benefitting from the grants, all the 36 states of the Federation have fully domesticated the fiscal reforms in their public financial management system.
She said the states have adopted the appropriate processes and practices as well as the legal and regulatory frameworks which are already yielding positive outcomes.
She said the launch of the States Charter was aimed at sustaining the ideals of fiscal transparency, accountability and sustainability by the Nigeria Governors Forum.
She said the launch also marked a milestone in the implementation and sustenance of reforms in public finance management in Nigeria.
“Indeed, the very high level of political visibility and implementation structures created across the 36 States contributed largely to the successful implementation of the Programme over the period 2018 to 2022.
“The programme has instilled fiscal behaviour and standards and facilitated the widespread adoption of good practices in fiscal and public financial management across the States while respecting their fiscal autonomy through preparation of Citizen -based Budgets, timely preparation and publication of Annual Budget and Audited Financial Statement as well as adoption of National Charts of Account.
“To date, 28 States have passed their Audit Law in line with internationally acceptable standards and all 36 States have passed their 2020 Audited Financial Statements before 31 July, 2021.
“Also, 32 States prepared and published Local Governments’ Audited Financial Statements (AFSS) for FY2018, FY2019 and FY2020 including all allocations and actual receipts of State-Local Government Joint Account Allocation Committee (SLJAAC) transfers for each LG,” she said.
She said all the 36 states of the federation had prepared year 2022 budget in line with the National Charts of Account, stressing that the deployment of measures such as BVN in the payroll systems and the implementation of Treasury Single Accounts (TSA) to minimize leakages in the system and promote efficiency in resource management were sone of the successes recorded.
“To date, 31 States have linked BVN to payroll while thirteen (13) have adopted the Treasury Single Account. Also, 30 States had conducted biometric registration of at least 90% of their civil servants and pensioners on the payroll and addressed identified payroll fraud.
“Also, many States have been able to increase their IGR significantly by reducing IGR leakages through the implementation of State-level Treasury Single Account (TSA), and intensifying efforts in IGR collection.
“27 States passed their Consolidated State Revenue Code (CSRC) by 2020 and 18 States were able to record a nominal IGR collection in 2020 that was equal to or higher than their 2019 nominal IGR collection. In addition, twenty (20) States have shown very strong commitment in establishing institutional arrangements focussed on laying foundation for State Property taxation which is a significant potential revenue source.
“To date, twenty-nine (29) States have passed Public Procurement Laws and all 36 went ‘live’ on an e-procurement platform by 31 December 2021. This will improve procurement practices to enhance value for money and reduce opportunities for corruption and misuse of public resources, thereby increasing efficiency of public expenditure.
“It has strengthened fiscal sustainability through increased efficiency in spending, and debt sustainability to prevent further fiscal crises and enhance the fiscal space for productive spending aimed at supporting growth and public service delivery. Currently, thirty-three (33) States have passed State Debt Laws,” she said.
The minister commended President Muhammadu Buhari for introducing laudable and enduring reforms in the Public Finance Management among which is the World Bank-Assisted States Fiscal Transparency Accountability and Sustainability (SFTAS) Programme for Results.