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Kwara officials meet W/Bank team over $18m grant

Kwara State government officials yesterday met with a delegation of the Independent Verification Agents (IVAs) as part of a competitive bid to access a $18m…

Kwara State government officials yesterday met with a delegation of the Independent Verification Agents (IVAs) as part of a competitive bid to access a $18m grant from the World Bank to fix infrastructure.

AbdulAzeez Oyelowo, Chairman of Kwara’s Steering Committee of the State Fiscal Transparency, Accountability and Sustainability for Result, said the IVA team was visiting to check the state’s compliance with the criteria required for any state to be given the grants.

Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq had earlier constituted the steering committee ahead of the meeting with the World Bank’s IVA, to make a strong case for Kwara.

Oyelowo, who is the permanent secretary of the Ministry of Planning, said Kwara had met the first criteria, which included ensuring transparency and accountability. He noted that the project began in 2018 and would continue until 2021, adding that only qualified states would get the grants.

“The federal government secured a loan of $750 million from the World Bank, out of which $700million is for states, that are performing in terms of ensuring fiscal responsibility, transparency and good governance at the subnational level. “In accessing this, they came up with certain criteria for states to qualify for assessment. Apart from two eligibility criteria states must meet in the first place, there are other indicators that serve as parameters on which each state will be assessed. The first criterion any interested state must meet is to publish its annual budget online on or before February of the year.

“Secondly, the audited financial statement must be ready on or before September of the following year. Kwara State met these two criteria. So, the IVAs are here to assess the nine indicators ranging from budget reliability, improved internally generated revenue, and other parameters of good governance,” he stated.

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