A five-day technical session to ascertain Kwara State’s compliance with the FG/ World Bank-inspired States Fiscal Transparency, Accountability and Sustainability (SFTAS) has commenced in Ilorin, the state capital, with local officials interfacing with independent verification agents (IVAs) from the office of the Auditor- General of the Federation. According to the state Commissioner for Finance and Planning, Florence Oyeyemi Olasumbo, who spoke at the opening session, the objective of SFTAS was to strengthen fiscal responsibility and openness in government’s spending.
She said SFTAS was mandated for all Nigerian states to become public financial management compliant with the support of the Federal Government, adding that Kwara was confident of winning more points than it did for the 2018 rating in which it won $5 million (N1.8 billion) for its compliance level.
She said: “We are very pleased to welcome you here because SFTAS is one in which Kwara State has benefitted from. It is a World Bank programme in which the Federal Government receives funds as loan from the World Bank and in turn releases to the states of the federation as grants for complying with the necessary public financial management.
“The objective of this programme is to strengthen fiscal accountability, transparency and fiscal responsibility in Nigeria. It provides perfor mance-based grants and technical assistance for the period of four years (2018 to 2021), which is subject to (the state) attaining eligibil-ity and satisfying certain conditions. “Following the successful 2018 Annual Performance Assessment (APA) when the state won $5 million (1.8 billion) grant for achieving some disbursement linked indicators (DLIs) across debt stock management fiscal transparency. In 2018, the state achieved five DLIs out of 14 and the state is ready to achieve more in 2019 APA to secure more grants.