The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning Mrs. Zainab Ahmed has said the last tranche of the $1.5bn million to grants to the 36 States of the federation under the World Bank assisted States’ Fiscal Transparency, Accountability and Sustainability (SFTAS) Programme will be released in December 2023.
She disclosed this at a dinner organised by the Ministry in conjunction with the World Bank for the celebration of the SFTAS achievements and presentation of awards to best performing states held in Abuja on the sidelines of the 28th Nigerian Economic Summit.
The $1.5bn grant is inclusive performance for grant and technical assistance components.
In the past three years of the existence of the programme, at least N471.9bn has so far disbursed to the 36 states.
The last and final tranche will be known after the final assessment is concluded.
The minister noted that, the programme will wind down next year but states should entrenched fiscal discipline and transparency in managing public finances.
“In the next few weeks, your states will receive the last tranche of performance-based grants including the sum of N1 Billion withheld by the Central Bank through Naira exchange deficit thus bringing to a close, the Performance for Results Grant even though the technical assistance component will continue to be delivered by implementing agencies and partners till June, 2023 when the programme will finally wind down” she said.
“Let me stress that the continued support and commitment of stakeholders particularly the legislature and CSOs at State level are most needed in this last year of programme implementation to deepen on -going reforms and build structures that would entrench the ideals of SFTAS long after the payment of performance grants had ceased” the minister further stated.
The highpoint of the occasion was the presentation of awards to best performing States in the successive Annual Performance Assessments conducted over the last three years of SFTAS existence.
Commenting, Mr. Shubham Chaudhuri, the Country Director for Nigeria, World Bank said it is a programme the bank is honoured to support in Nigeria adding that information about SIFTAS and the sucess story is spreading through the World Bank.
He said the programme gets into the heart of the fundamental aspect of governance as a federation which is mutually accountable relationship between the Federal and the States in a way that the terms are clear and transparent.
He said every state has embraced this programme.
Speaking to journalists at the event, the Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal’ said the programme has impacted accountability and transparency in the states and it will help strengthen public sector.
He said all the states are committed to institutionalising all that they’ve learnt so it is sustainable.