Cross River Ranks Achieves $20.4m in Grants Among The Top For The SFTAS Program
A total of $20.4 million in grants from the Federal Government of Nigeria’s World Bank-funded SFTAS Program was allocated to the Cross River State Government.
This was disclosed at a press conference on Friday morning in his office by the State Commissioner for Finance, Asuquo Ekpenyong Jnr, stating that Cross River State met the eligibility requirements for the 2019 Program and was therefore pre-qualified for the comprehensive annual performance assessment of all qualified Nigerian States under the Fiscal Openness, Accountability and Sustainability (SFTAS) Programme.
The evaluation exercise performed by the Independent Verification Assessors (IVA) of the Office of the Federal Auditor General and JFR Consulting in September 2020 showed that 6 Disbursement Related Indicators (DLRs), out of 9 applicable DLRs for 2019, and 3 DLRs, i.e. 100% for additional funding for 2020, were achieved by Cross River State.
The Commissioner noted that the report noted that Cross River State has strengthened its internal revenue collection (IGR), implemented biometric authentication to minimize payroll fraud, improved its procurement practices for enhanced transparency, strengthened its public debt management and fiscal accountability process, improved debt sustainability and developed a more transparent b
The Commissioner took the opportunity to congratulate the SFTAS State Steering Committee members for their unrelenting efforts to speed up the state machinery to achieve a resounding program success. The Steering Committee consists of the Ministry of Finance, the Internal Revenue Service, the Accountant General’s Office, the Bureau of Due Process, the Department of Debt Management and the Office of the Auditor General.
He further claimed that the progress of Independent Verification is a confirmation of the dedication of the Ayade led administration to accountability and fiscal efficiency.
The SFTAS Program is a cooperative agreement between the Federal Government of Nigeria and the World Bank aimed at enhancing Nigerian States’ fiscal transparency, accountability and sustainability as a means of improving their revenue base, improving fiscal performance in government spending, and reducing debt overhangs.
It’s a four year initiative with a budget size of $750 million that runs from 2018 to 2022.
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