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Cross River receives $20m World Bank fiscal transparency grant

Cross River receives $20m World Bank fiscal transparency grant
January 15
23:08 2021

The Cross River state government says it has received $20.4 million grant under the World Bank supported states fiscal transparency, accountability and sustainability (SFTAS) programme.

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Asuquo Ekpenyong Jnr, the state commissioner for finance, confirmed the development at a press briefing, on Friday.

SFTAS is a four-year programme that runs from 2018 to 2022, with a budget size of $750 million.

It is a competitive programme of the federal government through which it rewards states for meeting any or all indicators for improved fiscal transparency, accountability and sustainability.

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The ministry of finance is overseeing SFTAS, while the office of the auditor-general of the federation (OAUGF) is the independent verification agent.

Ekpenyong said Cross River met the eligibility criteria for the 2019 programme and was accordingly pre-qualified for the detailed annual performance assessment of the programme.

He said the independent verification assessors (IVA) from the office of the OAUGF and JFR Consulting, showed that the state achieved six disbursement linked indicators (DLRs), out of nine applicable DLRs for 2019, and 3 DLRs out of 3DLRs for the 2020 additional financing.

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According to the commissioner, the programme report noted that Cross River has strengthened its internally generated revenue (IGR) collection, implemented biometric verification to reduce payroll fraud, improved its procurement practices for increased transparency, strengthened its public debt management and fiscal responsibility framework, improved debt sustainability and instituted a more transparent budgeting process over the course of the fiscal year.

Ekpenyong commended members of the SFTAS state steering committee for their efforts in bringing the state machinery up to speed towards achieving resounding success in the programme.

He said “the independent verification success is a confirmation of the Ayade led administration’s commitment to transparency and fiscal performance”.

The federal government had announced the disbursement of N123.34 billion performance-based grant to eligible states under the World Bank supported programme.

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