Sokoto gets World Bank $22m grant for financial propriety
The World Bank has granted the Sokoto State Government $22million for its commitment to the implementation of the States Fiscal Transparency, Accountability and Sustainability (SFTAS) programme.
A breakdown of the grant shows that the state got $5million in November last year for approving COVID-19 budget and the balance of $17.4million for its 2019 fiscal performance two weeks ago.
The government clinched the grant after its astronomical score in the SFTAS ranking from 2/5 in 2019 to 14/15 last year, which puts it among the top three states in the country to achieve such ranking.
It got grant $2.5 million from the bank last year. Also in the period under review, it doubled its share of the federally collected PAYE tax and undertook a forensic audit of its pension benefits, thus establishing “a liability of over N500million, which is under verification and validation by the Pension Transition Arrangement Directorate (PTAD),” the SFTAS Committee report presented to Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal stated.
According to a statement by the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the Governor, Muhammad Bello, Tambuwal, while receiving the report on Thursday, expressed delight with the feat and directed that members of the committee should be given automatic promotion in appreciation of their efforts.
Describing their work as “tedious, tasking and painstaking,” the governor recalled when it was first initiated, many people thought it was deliberately started to punish them, saying “intention is to bequeath the state with strong institutions for good governance.”
He added: “I don’t believe in business as usual; I believe in Sokoto State being the frontline state in good governance. These are the reasons behind all the reforms.
“In the long run, the state will be the one to benefit.” He commended the Commissioner for Finance, AbdusSamad Dasuki, and the SFTAS team, his predecessor, who is the current Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Saidu Umar, who worked conscientiously to make the state attain the feat, as well as the state House of Assembly for making enabling laws that propelled the committee to success.
Presenting the committee’s report, titled, ‘Sokoto State: The Gains of Opening Up,’ during a state executive council session, Dasuki said “Sokoto is now a template for revenue generation and budget transparency in Nigeria.”
Dasuki disclosed that as a result of the committee’s works, the state payroll and non-personnel payments are now automated, its internally generated revenue increased and Inland Revenue Board was upgraded.
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