Kaduna benefits as Lagos, Rivers, Anambra excluded from World Bank’s N43bn largesse

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The Federal Government has commenced the disbursement of N43 billion World Bank Performance grant to some states.

The funds were reportedly released to the Federal government for disbursement using designated metrics such as acceptable transparency in financial records as determined by the World Bank.

Correspondingly, the designated States are benefiting from a disbursement of $120.6 million grant (about N43.416 billion) provided by the global financial institution under what it calls Assisted States Fiscal Transparency, Accountability and Sustainability Programme-for-Results.

According to the Federal Ministry of Finance, the transparency fund is not determined as a loan, and is thus not under the category of funds that would be repaid back to the World Bank by the benefiting States or Federal government on behalf of the benefiting States.

However, going by the list recently released, Lagos, Rivers, Bayelsa, Akwa Ibom and Cross River States were precluded from the programme. They were adjudged not be transparent enough in their financial records by the World Bank.

In addition, equally precluded on same grounds were Ebonyi, Imo, Anambra, Nasarawa, Plateau and Zamfara states.The Lucky ones include Abia, Adamawa, Bauchi, Benue, Delta, Edo, Ekiti, Enugu, Gombe, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Kogi, Kwara, Niger and Ondo. The rest are Ogun, Oyo, Osun, Sokoto, Taraba and Yobe.

Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed said going by the World Bank data, Kaduna recorded the highest point in the programme which was carried by the office of the Auditor-General for the Federation under the watch of the World Bank and was awarded the highest amount of N3.96 billion.

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The information which was contained in a statement released by the ministry and signed by its Director of Information and Press, Hassan Dodo stated among other things: “ The Federal Government of Nigeria has disbursed the sum of N43,416,000,000.00 ($120.6 million) as performance-based grants to 24 eligible states on the basis of the results achieved in 2018 under the performance-based grant component of the World Bank-Assisted States Fiscal Transparency, Accountability and Sustainability (SFTAS) Programme-for-Results, which is wholly-financed with a loan amount of $750 million from the International Development Association (IDA), a member of the World Bank Group.”

The Ministry further explained that the disbursement was premised on the participation of the 24 eligible states in the recent Annual Performance Assessment (APA) undertaken by the office of the Auditor-General for the Federation (OAuGF) as an Independent Verification Agent (IVA) in collaboration with a third-party firm, JK Consulting Limited, and the SFTAS Programme Coordination Unit (PCU).

Recall that the SFTAS programme was put in place by the Federal Government with the concessional loan of $750 million to support states through the provision of performance- metrics predicated grants to the tune of $700 million, and technical assistance in the supporting amount of $50 million to enhance their capabilities to achieve the Disbursement Linked Indicators (DLIs).

•The New Diplomat