By Temitope Ponle
The Federal Government has urged state governments to domesticate the National Chart of Account (NCoA).
This is to qualify them for performance-based grants under the States’ Fiscal Transparency Accountability and Sustainability (SFTAS) Programme for Results 2020 Annual Performance Assessment (APA).
Mr Stephen Okon, the National Programme Coordinator (NPC), SFTAS Programme, made the call in a statement by Mr Ibrahim Mohammed, Communication Specialist, SFTAS Programme Coordination Unit, Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning.
The federal government also advised the states to take steps in qualifying for performance-based grants under COVID-19 related Disbursement Linked Indicators (DLIs) due in 2021.
The SFTAS programme is a 1.5 billion dollars federal government programme for results supported by the World Bank which aims to strengthen fiscal governance at the state level.
Okon was speaking at a one-day NCoA Sensitisation Workshop organised by the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) for the Independent Verification Agent (IVA) on April 1.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the IVA is the Office of the Auditor General of the Federation (OAuGF).
Okon explained that the NCoA provided a standard template approved by the Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) to be domesticated by state governments for the purposes of planning, budgeting, accounting and reporting of their financial transactions.
“The adoption of NCoA by state governments will strengthen the country’s national accounting and budget monitoring; promoting greater transparency and accountability at all levels of government,” he said.
The programme coordinator said many states still struggle to accurately report according to the set requirements while some had properly domesticated the NCoA in the past.
The Director-General, NGF, Mr Asishana Okauru, explained that the objective of the collaboration is to ensure that no state is left behind.
“Every State should get the support it requires to deliver on the agreed reforms,” Okauru said.
According to him, 36 states were adjudged to have met the eligibility criterion of preparing their FY19 audited financial statement in accordance with International Public Sector Accounting Standards, and published same online by Aug. 31, 2020.
He, however, added that preparing the 2021 budget in line with the NCoA and publishing it online remained the eligibility requirement for the 36 states to qualify for performance-based grants under the SFTAS 2020 APA and for COVID-19 related DLIs due in 2021.
He noted the IVA would be verifying states’ compliance with the NCoA requirement for the FY 2021 budget and the 2020 SFTAS Eligibility Criteria.
NAN reports that the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning with the NGF had provided technical assistance in the form of advisory and capacity building training for budget officials across the 36 states.
This is to assist the states with the domestication process. (NAN)