Nigeria has commenced implementation of the 750 million dollars World Bank-funded State Fiscal Transparency, Accountability and Sustainability (SFTAS) programme in 33 states.
The Auditor-General for the Federation, Mr Anthony Ayine said the programme was aimed at transforming the public finance management system in states.
Ayine said that SFTAS was initiated by the Federal Government, adding that the OAuGF would be the Independent Verification Agents (IVA) for the programme.
He noted that states that met the criteria would be eligible for the grants if they achieved any of the nine disbursement linked results under the SFTAS.
The auditor-general listed some of the criteria to include online publication of audited financial statements and online publication of the 2019 budget.
“The World Bank has supported the Federal Government to incentivise the states to properly achieve the 22 point Fiscal Sustainability Plan now redesigned as the nine Disbursement Linked Indicators under SFTAS.
“We appeal to all states to play fair. We urge all states not to offer any gifts, inducements similar to any of our team members,’’ he said.
The Country Director of World Bank, Shubham Chaudhuri appreciated the Federal Government’s effort toward ensuring the success of the programme.
Chaudhuri, represented by Mr Hiroshi Tsubota, the Bank’s Programme Leader, Equitable Growth, Finance and Institutions, noted that verification to be done by the OAuGF, was an important role in the design of the programme.
“I will like to express our sincere appreciation to our partners, the OAuGF and the Ministry of Finance.
“`We want to highlight that we are pleased by the outcome and progress, how SFTAS is moving ahead,’’ he said.
Chaudhuri thanked the Federal Government, especially the OAuGF for the partnership.
Alhaji Bello Abdulmajeed, the Deputy National Coordinator of the programme, expressed optimism that the aim of the programme would be achieved.
SFTAS is expected to significantly improve outcomes for participating states in four key result areas including fiscal transparency and accountability.
Others are domestic revenue mobilisation, efficiency in public expenditure and debt sustainability.