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Finance/Economy

Kogi Builds On 2019 Success, Scores 100% In SFTAS Programme

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Kogi State has scored 100 per cent for all indicators in the 2019 Annual Performance Assessment of Nigerian states under the States’ Fiscal Transparency, Accountability and Sustainability programme.

SFTAS is a $750 million competitive programme of the Federal Government through which it rewards States for meeting any or all indicators for improved Fiscal Transparency, Accountability and Sustainability.

The Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning is overseeing SFTAS, while the Office of the Auditor-General of the Federation is the Independent Verification Agent.

The annual performance assessments of the States with the technical assistance of JK Consulting, one of the most reputable external audit firms in the country.

The World Bank and other development partners support the programme aiming to incentive the second tier of government into institutionalising international best practices and greater probity in their management of public funds.

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This was confirmed in a statement by Moses Okezie-Okafor, the Director-General, Research and Development in the Office of the Kogi State Governor.

According to Okezie-Okafor, the latest report was released on October 28, 2020 by the Office of the Auditor-General for the Federation and validates the efforts of the state Governor, Yahaya Bello, to manage public funds in a manner that is open to both public verification and peer review.

The OAuGF, which carried out the assessment based on the nine Disbursement Linked Indicators and Tests, ranked Kogi State high in the areas of improved Financial Reporting and Budgeting Reliability and increased openness and citizens’ engagement in the budget process.

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The report noted that the state was also rated high in improved cash management and reduced revenue leakages through implementation of State Treasury Single Account.

To ensure credibility and quality assessment, the IVA engaged the services of experts in Taxation, Procurement and Debt Management laws to review fiscal legislation and practices in each State.

The 2019 report noted in particular that Kogi had: “Strengthened Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) collection; Biometric registration and Bank Verification Number (BVN) used to reduce payroll fraud; Improved procurement practices for increased transparency and value for money; Strengthened public debt management and fiscal responsibility framework; Improved clearance/reduction of stock of domestic expenditure arrears and improved debt sustainability.”

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It would be recalled that in the 2018 APA results, Kogi State came second after Kaduna State, which earned her an $8.8 million special grant.

That incentive appears to have worked going by the current improvement in the 2019 report.

As it is now, Kogi State, which is practically the only state in the federation to have implemented Treasury Single Account, has the highest level of openness and accountability in its fiscal processes.

Asiwaju Idris Asiru, the Kogi State Commissioner of Finance and Economic Development, described the fiscal responsibility system put in place by the government of Bello as a glass house.

According to Asiru: “Every person dealing with state funds is exposed to multiple layers and levels of accountability.

 

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Finance/Economy

Inksnation Foundation Is Legitimate, Duly Registered Under The Statutory Law – Kogi State Coordinator

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The State Coordinator and Director General inksnation foundation in Kogi State, Mrs Grace Mubo Daikwo has refuted the rumoured making the rounds on doubting the authenticity of inksnation foundation as falsehood from detractors of good things.

Inksnation Foundation Is Legitimate, Duly Registered Under The Statutory Law – Kogi State Coordinator

The Director General disclosed this while speaking with Journalist as so many news are going round as regards the foundation.

She said inksnation foundation is duly registered under the statutory law of the Federal republic of Nigeria via the Corporate Affairs Commission.

She emphasized that contrary to the news from some quarter, Inksnation has come to stay and it is a very genuine foundation that has over 6.7million members in Nigeria alone with reputable members cutting across board.

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The Director General further explained that the motive of inksnation foundation is to impact into the lives of the poor and vulnerable positively especially in the area of putting food on their table and giving them income.

She however, called on members of inksnation foundation to keep calm on the recent message showing”UNVERIFIED”on there dashboard saying it is as a result of server breakdown as there is an upgrade in server presently with a new website that has just been launched with which everybody will be verified with an extension of time.

The Director General called on all members to get ready for the next December market that will come up in all the seven zones in Kogi State as a directive from the founder, Amos Sewanu.

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She said all the market has been zoned to our local government across the three senatorial districts from the 14th of December where members would have gotten two of their monthly allowance which they can spend in the market to take care of food items during the festive period.

She called on all the members to dispel the rumor as the foundation has taken a bold step to report to appropriate bodies and equally taken a legal action on those quarters where this stories generates from.

On clarification, members can check the head office at number 19 Posokah quarters off dosu way Badagry Lagos State or Kogi State office at Aliu Obaje road suit number 2, Hajia K.Plaza along NIWA road Lokoja to know more about the foundation.

Inksnation Foundation Is Legitimate, Duly Registered Under The Statutory Law – Kogi State Coordinator

In her final words, the Director General said inksnation foundation has come to give everybody equitable distribution of wealth, love, peace and unity with a projection of a better tomorrow.

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Finance/Economy

Breaking: Nigeria Plunges Into Second Recession In Five Years

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Nigeria, Africa’s biggest economy, has entered its second recession in five years as official figures published on Saturday show that the economy shrank again in the third quarter of this year.

This year’s recession, occasioned  by the economic fallout of the Covid-19 pandemic, is worse than that of 2016.

The National Bureau of Statistics, in its Gross Domestic Product report for Q3, said the GDP, the broadest measure of economic prosperity, fell by 3.62 in the three months to September.

Economists consider two consecutive quarters of shrinking GDP as the technical definition of a recession.

For the first time in more than three years, the Nigerian economy shrank in the second quarter of this year as the GDP fell by 6.10 per cent, compared with a growth of 1.87 per cent in Q1.

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The NBS had said in August that the economic decline in Q2 was largely attributable to significantly lower levels of both domestic and international economic activity resulting from nationwide shutdown efforts aimed at containing the COVID-19 pandemic.

It said the contraction in Q2 brought to an end the three-year trend of low but positive real growth rates recorded since the 2016/17 recession.

The economy, which emerged from its first recession in 25 years in Q2 2017 when it posted a 0.7 per cent growth, had continued its slow recovery since then but the COVID-19 crisis made things worse.

In 2016, the economy slipped into recession in Q2 as the GDP shrank by 2.1 per cent after falling by 0.4 per cent in Q1 on the back of the steep fall in global crude oil prices and the country’s production volumes.

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Last month, the World Bank revised its 2020 forecast for Nigeria’s economy to -4.1 per cent from its previous projection of -3.2 per cent, saying the country’s near-term outlook was subject to “considerable uncertainty”.

The bank had said in June that the collapse in crude oil prices, coupled with the COVID-19 pandemic, was expected to “plunge the Nigerian economy into a severe recession, the worst since the 1980s”.

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Finance/Economy

FGN Disburses N66.5billion To States For Amended COVID-19 Responsive 2020 Budget

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The federal government of Nigeria (FGN) has disbursed the sum of N66.5billion (USD$175 million) to eligible States on the basis of the Amended COVID-19 Responsive 2020 Budget results achievement.

According to a press statement signed by Hassan Dodo,
Director, Press and Public Relations,
Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, says Mrs. Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed, the Honourable Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, who disclosed this in a statement signed by Mr. Hassan Dodo, the Ministry’s Director of Press and Public Relations, yesterday in Abuja, explained that the disbursement followed compliance with the Amended COVID-19 Responsive 2020 Budget by 35 eligible States in the country.

The programme is wholly-financed with a loan amount of $750 million from the International Development Association (IDA), a member of the World Bank Group. Each State received the total sum of N1.9bn equivalent of $5million.

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The disbursement is, according to her, under the performance-based grant component of the World Bank-Assisted States Fiscal Transparency, Accountability and Sustainability (SFTAS) Programme-for-Results.

Mrs. Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed, the Honourable Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning

Rivers State is the only one that missed out on the grant due to its inability to meet the eligibility criteria which required the states to have passed and published online on a state’s website by July 31,2020 credible, fiscally responsible COVID-19 Responsive Amended 2020 Budgets duly approved by the State House of Assembly and assented to by the State Governor.

According to Ahmed, the Amended 2020 State Budget must also include standardised budget documentation to enhance clarity, transparency and accessibility.
“It must also significantly lower the gross statutory revenue projections – consistent with the revised medium-term expenditure framework (MTEF) and federal government’s budget; reduced non-essential overhead and capital expenditures”.

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“The budget must be tagged and found to have allocated at least 10 percent of the total expenditure of the amended budget for COVID-19 relief, restructuring and recovery programs; and identified credible sources to fully finance the budget deficit to avoid accumulation of arrears”.

Mrs. Ahmed stressed that the COVID-19 pandemic and the associated economic and fiscal shocks have put significant pressure on States’ fiscal resources and undermined the reality and credibility of the States’ original 2020 Annual Budgets.

She was of the opinion that a transparent, accountable and sustainable state-level fiscal/budget framework is a pre-requisite for a robust COVID-19 response, enabling necessary health, social protection and livelihood interventions during the COVID-19 relief, restructuring and recovery phases.

The Honourable Minister expressed optimism that the achievement of results by the 35 out of 36 States would further strengthen the national fiscal response to COVID-19 and align efforts at both the federal and state-levels.

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She noted that the World Bank-assisted SFTAS Programme is principally meant to strengthen fiscal management at the state level, so as to ensure effective mobilisation and utilisation of financial resources to the benefit of the citizens in a transparent, accountable and sustainable manner, thereby reducing fiscal risks and encouraging a common set of fiscal behaviours.

Ahmed observed that the SFTAS programme could not have come at a better time, given the dwindling government revenue occasioned by oil price volatility coupled with the current impact of COVID-19 which has further intensified the need for improved practices in fiscal transparency, accountability and sustainability as enunciated in the SFTAS ideals.

It would be recalled that the federal government had earlier in April, 2020 disbursed the total sum of (N43,416,000,000.00) $120.6 million to the qualified 24 States, based on their performance.

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