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Sokoto receives largest chunk of FG’s N123.3bn grant to states

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SOKOTO State has received the largest chunk of performance-based grant disbursed by the federal government under the States Fiscal Transparency Accountability and Sustainability (SFTAS) programme, according to finance minister, Zainab Ahmed.

In a statement signed by Hassan Dodo, director of press and public relations in Finance Ministry, Ahmed said Sokoto received highest amount totalling N6.612 billion whilst Kano got the lowest, N1.710 billion.

He said the disbursement was in line with accountability and transparency results achieved by states in the just concluded 2019 Annual Performance Assessment (APA).

She noted that the disbursement came after the recent one done in November 2020, where N66.5 billion was granted to 35 states which achieved results under the COVID-19 response programme.

The minister said that since the first disbursement in April 2020, the federal government had so far disbursed a total of N233 billion to the states under the N63 billion ($750 million) World Bank-Assisted SFTAS programme, stressing that the assessment was carried out by the Office of the Auditor General of the Federation as the independent verification agent (IVA) and approved by the Programme Coordination Unit (PCU) of the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning.

She noted that some states got zero allocations due to their low performance in the assessment indices.

“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 the approved annual budgets and audited financial statements within a specific timeframe,” she said.

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She pointed out that the 2019 APA results were a significant improvement on the 2018 APA results, where performance-based grant of N43.416 billion was received by 24 eligible states, which was a substantial progress on fiscal reforms by states.

ALSO READ: Viral post on FG giving out grants to support Nigerians is a hoax

She said the World Bank-assisted programme was targeted at strengthening fiscal management at the state level in order to ensure effective mobilisation and utilisation of financial resources to the benefit of citizens in a transparent and sustainable manner, thereby encouraging fiscally responsible behaviour whilst reducing financial risks.

“We have thus far successfully adapted and implemented the SFTAS Programme to provide timely support to states with a view to strengthening their fiscal capacity for responding to numerous fiscal challenges in their respective domains,” she further said.

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