STATE governments should be able to access $20 million COVID-19 support fund from the Federal government if they meet the performance target set by World Bank independent accessors.
The money is a $750 million loan support from the World Bank to the Federal for on-lending to the states.
The Federal Capital Territory is also expected to access $15 million from the fund, the Federal government said.
Nigeria’s Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Clement Agba, gave the information on Monday in Abuja during an interaction with newsmen.
Agba, emphasising that the fund would be performance-tied, said, “What has been disbursed so far is N950 million per state.The states are expected to put these funds to what they have signed up to, as specified by worked-out templates on livelihood (conditional cash transfers) or Micro Small and Medium Enterprises category.”
He explained that independent accessors would visit each of the states to see what they had applied, while also evaluating their capacity to access and manage the funds.
“The states can get a maximum of $20 million tied to their performance. The independent accessors would give the nod before states can make such access,” he said.
Commenting on the reports on Nigeria’s multidimensionally poor report released recently by the National Bureau of Statistics, the Minister said proper spread and mapping of developmental projects would lessen rising poverty.
He noted that the Budget and National Planning ministry was willing to work with states on proper spread of projects, to lesson rising incidences of rural poverty.
“The multi-dimensional poverty report which revealed 133 million Nigerians are multi-dimensionally poor was produced in partnership with the states and federal government.
“We are still lagging behind on rural poverty. It will take the media to get the conversation going till we get it right by keeping these issues at the front burner at both states and local government level,” he added.
Harrison Edeh is a journalist with the International Centre for Investigative Reporting, always determined to drive advocacy for good governance through holding public officials and businesses accountable.