States urge FG to double performance for results grant to $1.5m
States have urged Federal Government to increase the Performance for Results grant from the current $750m to $1.5m to enable them to consolidate the fiscal reforms and ensure programme sustainability.
Also at the States’ Fiscal Transparency Accountability and Sustainability (SFTAS) Programme for Results meeting in Abuja, on Thursday, Director General of the Debt Management Office (DMO), Ms Patience Oniha, announced that half of all states achieved debt-to-revenue ratios below the debt sustainability threshold set by the Federal Government for both 2018 and 2019.
At the meeting, Federal Government urged the states to deepen fiscal transparency and accountability in the public financial management system to improve their fiscal governance.
Chairman, Commissioners of Finance Forum and Benue State Commissioner of Finance, Dr David Olofu, who made the appeal for FG to increase the grant on behalf of his colleagues commended the Federal Government’s fiscal intervention which bailed out most States of the Federation from financial distress especially during the period of economic recession and the recent COVID-19 pandemic, which overstretched the lean resources of the states.
He pledged states’ readiness to continue with the SFTAS Programme noting that thus far, the institutionalisation of the programme has positively impacted fiscal governance and strengthened transparency and accountability.
Oniha disclosed that more than two-thirds of states now submit comprehensive quarterly debt reports on debt stock and debt servicing to her agency timely.
In addition, two- thirds of states have passed public debt management laws and /or fiscal responsibility legislation that mirrors the Federal Government’s Fiscal Responsibility Act.
The DG, DMO further disclosed that the states have also established fiscal and debt rules as well as limits and responsibilities for contracting States debt with functional State Debt Departments.
Permanent Secretary (Finance), Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning who doubles as the Chairman National Steering Committee (NSC) of SFTAS, Mr Aliyu Ahmed, noted that all the 36 states are now participating in the programme.
He explained that the programme aims to instil a common set of fiscal behaviour and standards in the states and encourage widespread adoption of good practices in fiscal and public financial management.
Communications Specialist, SFTAS-PCU, Ibrahim Mohammed, in a statement said it will also strengthen fiscal transparency by improving overall budget transparency and accountability to help build trust in government; enhance monitoring of fiscal risks and accountability in public resource management; improve accountability through the deployment of such measures as BVN in the Payroll Systems and implementation of Treasury Single Accounts to minimize leakages in the system and promote efficiency in resource management.
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