The Federal Government has given conditions that States must meet in order to benefit from the $750 million International Development Association (IDA) credit facility extended to the Nigeria Government by the World Bank in 2022.
The $750 million is tied to the State Fiscal Transparency, Accountability and Sustainability (SFTAS) Programme, which is designed to strengthen the Fiscal transparency, accountability and sustainability in States as a way of improving their revenue base, increasing fiscal efficiency in public expenditure and reducing debt overhang.
The 36 States of the Federation have bought into the programme with some already drawing from the facility.
To qualify for the facility in 2022, State Governments are expected to first achieve Disbursement Linked Indicators (DLIs) in 2021.
For the States to meet the DLI II in 2021, the Federal Government is demanding that “Citizens’ inputs from formal public consultations are published online, along with the proposed FY22 budget and Citizens’ budget based on approved FY21 state budget published online by end April 2021 with functional online feedback mechanisms”.
The State Governments are also required to create Citizens Accountability Report based on audited financial statements/reports published online for FY20 no later than end September 2021”.
To assist the governments meet these requirements, the Federal Government through the Open Government Partnership (OGP) and the World Bank are organising a workshop for State Governments to learn how to develop their individual State’s Citizens’ Accountability Report (CAR)”.
The state governments will be “using the template developed by the OGP Secretariat in collaboration with FCDO/PERL, and the various processes involved in achieving the Disbursement Linked Results (DLRs) as well as collect information from the participants on how to make the template more user-friendly”.
These disclosures were made in Abuja on Wednesday by National Programme Coordinator of SFTAS Mr. Stephen Okon.
He urged the state governments to “learn how to develop your States’ Citizens’ Accountability Report (CAR), and be able to publish the report on the websites of your various States’ Governments before the deadline of 30th September, 2021”.
The National Programme Manager Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office and Partnership to Engage, Reform, and Learn (FCDO-PERL) Mr. Ifeanyi Ugwuoke said: “PERL works with its partners such as the World Bank, the Nigeria’s Governors Forum (NGF), Open Government Partnerships (OGP) and of course the Federal Government of Nigeria, to identity critical blockages to the delivery of public services and develop practical ways to address identified bottlenecks and enhance transparency”.
Ugwuoke, represented by Abu Umar, said “the programme links government accountability mechanisms to systems and processes of public administration and stimulates pragmatic synergy between government actors and organized private sector actors/citizens, to promote effective utilization of public resources in delivering public goods and services to the citizens”.
The programme he added “aims to ensure that governments are more responsive and accountable to the public, and that government institutions involve citizens in decision-making processes more effectively”.