The Nigerian Government has paid out N123.35bn performance-based grants to state government as part of its States Fiscal Transparency Accountability and Sustainability Programme for Results project of the World Bank.
The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, stated that the disbursement was carried out following the achievement of results by the states in the just concluded 2019 Annual Performance Assessment.
A statement signed by the Director of Press and Public Relations at the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Hassan Dodo, on Wednesday made this known.
According to her, the assessment was carried out by the Office of the Auditor-General for the Federation as the independent verification agent and approved by the programme coordination unit of the finance ministry.
Ahmed said N91.048bn ($239.6m) of performance-based grants were paid out for the 2019 APA results achieved by 32 eligible states across various Disbursement Linked Indicators.
She explained that the 2019 APA results were a significant improvement on the 2018 APA results where the total performance-based grants of N43.416bn ($120.6m) were received by 24 eligible states.
According to the minister, states received grants in accordance with the number of results achieved, with Sokoto State receiving the highest amount of N6.61bn, while Kano got the lowest amount of N1.71bn.
“Bayelsa, Imo, Rivers and Zamfara states got zero allocation due to their inability to meet the 2019 eligibility criteria which required states to publish online approved annual budgets and audited financial statements within a specific timeframe,”
According to her, the second part of the disbursement involved a new COVID-19 response DLI, of a tax which was the implementation compliance relief programme for individual tax payers and businesses by states by 30 September 2020.
Based on this, she said 34 out of 36 states were able to achieve the results for the new DLI for the total of N32.3bn ($85m) of grants, as only Anambra and Zamfara states missed out.
The disbursement came after the recent one in November 2020 by the Federal Government where the sum of N66.5bn ($175m) was granted to 35 states.
Ahmed noted that since the first disbursement in April 2020, the Federal Government had so far disbursed the total sum of N233bn ($620.6m) to the states.
She explained that the World Bank-assisted SFTAS programme aimed to strengthen fiscal management at the state level in order to ensure effective mobilisation and utilisation of financial resources.
She said the resources were for the benefit of citizens in a transparent, accountable and sustainable manner, thereby reducing fiscal risks and encouraging a common set of fiscally responsible behaviours.
According to her, the SFTAS programme could not have come at a better time, given the dwindling government revenue occasioned by oil price volatility and the impact of COVID-19.