Cross River State government will get a $20.4 million grant from the World Bank’s States Fiscal Transparency, Accountability and Sustainability, SFTAS, programme.
This was disclosed by the Commissioner for Finance, Mr Asuquo Ekpenyong Jnr. He said the money to implement the state’s 2021 budget .
“It was strenuous but we met the eligibility criteria for the 2019 programme and the state was pre-qualified for the detailed annual performance assessment of all qualified Nigerian states under the programme”.
Ekpenyong said the assessment exercise for pre-qualification was carried out in September 2020 by the World Bank’s Independent Verification Assessor, IVA, from the Office of the Auditor General of the Federation and that Cross River State achieved six out of the nine Disbursement Linked Indicators, DLRs, which were applicable in the 2019 benchmark and three out of three in the 2020 DLRs which was one hundred per cent.
According to him, the strengthening of the state’s Internally Generated Revenue collection, implementation of biometric verification to stem payroll fraud, improved procurement practices for increased transparency, strengthening of its public debt management and fiscal responsibility framework, improved debt sustainability and institution of a more transparent budgeting during the course of the budgeting year shot the state into the third position across states in the country to benefit from the grant.
He commended Senator Ben Ayade for the support which gave Steering Committee the wherewithal to achieve the needed bench mark.