By Ademola Akanni, Abuja
Four states: Bayelsa, Imo, Rivers and Zamfara, have received zero allocations from the N123.348 billion shared by the Federal Government under its World Bank supported State Fiscal Transparency Accountability and Suitability (SFTAS) programme, reports The Gazelle News.com.
The Federal Government through the Federal Ministry of Finance has given reason for this.
The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, said the four states got zero allocations because of their inability to meet the 2019 eligibility criteria.
These criteria are: states are required to publish online approved annual budgets and audited financial statements within a specific time frame.
“Bayelsa, Imo, Rivers and Zamfara States got zero allocation due to their inability to meet the 2019 eligibility criteria which required States to publish online approved annual budgets and audited financial statements within a specific timeframe,” a statement by Hassan Dodo, Director of Press at the Finance Ministry quoted the Minister to have said.
According to Ahmed, Sokoto state received the highest amount of N6.612 billion while Kano state got the lowest amount of N1.710 billion.
The Minister explained that states were awarded for results achieved across disbursements linked indicators (DLIs) such as fiscal transparency, accountability, expenditure efficiency, revenue mobilization and debt sustainability, in the 2019 annual performance assessment (APA).
She said the assessment was carried out by the office of the Auditor General for the Federation (OAuGF) as the Independent Verification Agent (IVA) and approved by the Programme Coordination Unit (PCU) of the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning.
Ahmed also said that the disbursement included N91.048 billion of performance-based grants for the 2019 APA results achieved by 32 eligible states.
She added that states have improved on fiscal reforms as only 24 states received N43.4 billion performance-based grants for 2018 Annual Performances Assessments (APA) results.
According to the Finance Minister, the FG has disbursed N233 billion to states under SFTAS since the first disbursement in April 2020.