FG charges States on transparent accounting to access $1.5bn Grants

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FG charges States on transparent accounting to access $1.5bn Grants
Federal government has charged state governments to adopt transparent accounting standard that will allow the adopting states access to $1.5 billion grants under the States’ Fiscal Transparency Accountability and Sustainability (SFTAS) Programme.

Government has admonished states to domesticate the National Chart of Account (NCOA) to qualify for performance-based grants under the SFTAS) programme for Results 2020 Annual Performance Assessment (APA) and Covid-19 related Disbursement Linked Indicators (DLIs) due in 2021.

The SFTAS programme is a $1.5 billion federal government of Nigeria programme for results supported by the World Bank which aims to strengthen fiscal governance at the State level.

The national programme coordinator (NPC) of the SFTAS, Stephen Okon, gave the advice, while declaring open a one-day NCoA Sensitisation Workshop organised by the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) for the Independent Verification Agent (IVA). The IVA is the Office of the Auditor General of the Federation (OAuGF).

Okon explained that the NCoA provides a standard template approved by the Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) to be domesticated by all levels of government for the purposes of planning, budgeting, accounting, and reporting of their financial transactions.

Upon full adoption, he stated that, citizens will be able to track across all States, budget line items by ministries, departments and agencies(MDAs), economic transaction, fund type, function, programme and location.

The adoption of National Chart of Accounts (NCoA) by State governments, he said, will strengthen the country’s national accounting and budget monitoring; promoting greater transparency and accountability at all levels of government.

The SFTAS national programme coordinator observed that while some States have properly domesticated the NCoA in the past, many still struggle to accurately report according to the set requirements.

To assist States with the domestication process, he stressed that, the Federal Ministry of Finance Budget and National Planning (FMFBNP) in collaboration with the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) has provided technical assistance in the form of advisory and capacity building training for budget officials across the 36 States.

The exercise which began with a series of sensitisation workshops in October 2020 was succeeded by hands-on technical budget walk-through workshops which ran till the end of January 2021. This was supported by the dissemination of carefully designed reporting templates and self-paced video tutorials on NCoA domestication.

Similarly, the Director General, Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), Mr. Asishana Okauru explained that the objective of the collaboration was to ensure that no State is left behind, adding that every State should get the support it requires to deliver on the agreed reforms.

The NGF is one of the implementing partners contracted by the SFTAS Programme Coordination Unit (PCU) of the federal ministry of finance, budget and national planning to deliver capacity building activities that will assist the States to domesticate necessary reforms of the SFTAS programme and meet the Eligibility Criteria and Disbursement Linked Results (DLRs) requirements.




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