Fiscal Transparency: Gombe State attracts N26bn WB grant in 4 years – Commissioner

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By Hajara Leman

Gombe State received N26 billion as grants on its achievements under the performance-based grant component of the World Bank-assisted States Fiscal Transparency, Accountability and Sustainability (SFTAS) programme in four years.

The Commissioner for Finance and Economic Development, Mr Muhammad Magaji, made this known in Gombe on Tuesday shortly after the inaugural State Executive Council meeting.

Magaji the grants were attracted as a result of the fiscal transparency, accountability and sustainability (SFTAS) programme reforms implemented in the state.

”The various reforms initiated by the Gov. Inuwa Yahaya made the state transparent enough to attract such grants.

”The grant has helped the state government execute a good number of projects from infrastructure to improved healthcare amongst others which had impacted positively on the lives of the people of the state.

“We were able to implement the SFTAS reforms and earned over N26 billion for Gombe State in grants.

“The grant is between 2019 and 2023, that’s the first administration of Gov. Yahaya and it has helped in executing good projects for the benefits of the people,” he said.

This, he said, means Gombe state is more transparent, accountable and whatever we are doing is out in the public for people to see and we are not hiding any skeleton.

“We have initiated reforms and abided by them. Our account books are there for everyone to see according to the national chart of accounts.

“We publish our annual accounts for the state government. Our budgets are in order and also published on time and regularly for everyone to see.”

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He also added that the state government had adopted the SFTAS requirements that ensured that the state cleared up its arrears while paying contractors on time.

The commissioner said the reforms had essentially helped the state government to continue to move forward in the transparency index..

“We were also able to reform a lot of areas in governance and we achieved a lot making Gombe the first in ease of doing business, ranking Gombe in the transparency index from 36 to number seven.

Magaji said that the state government going forward would concentrate efforts at driving in more investments that would lead to establishment of industries and creation of jobs for youths in the state.

NAN reports that the SFTAS programme is a hybrid with two components of activities that support Nigerian states to achieve the key result areas of the programme.

These are a performance-based financing component for state governments, which will be implemented as a PforR; and  a technical assistance (TA) component for states and selected national-level institutions, which will be implemented as an investment project financing (IPF).

The programme also supports the full and sustained implementation of a strategic subset of reforms from the FSP and the open government partnership (OGP) commitments that are implemented at the state-level.

The programme also provides performance-based financing on an annual basis to states which have been verified through the annual performance assessments (APA) as having: (1) complied with the annual eligibility criteria; and (2) achieved the annual disbursement linked results. (NAN)

Edited by Sadiya Hamza

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