Kwara wins $16.9m SFTAS 2019/2020 achievements

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Kwara state map

Kwara State has won $16.9 million worth of achievements in the 2019/2020 World Bank-supported State Fiscal Transparency, Accountability and Sustainability (SFTAS) programme for results —the highest ever achieved by the state since the initiative began in 2018.

According to a statement by the state’s Ministry of Finance and Planning, the awards came after the state satisfied the disbursements linked indicators (DLIs) contained in the Annual Performance Assessment (APA) final report submitted by the independent verification agents (IVA) that had earlier visited the state.

The DLIs include improved financial reporting and budget reliability; increased citizens engagement in budget process; strengthened internally generated revenues (IGR); biometric and BVN used to reduce payroll fraud; strengthened public debt management; improved debt sustainability; implementation of a tax compliance for individual taxpayers and businesses; strengthened procurement function for COVID-19 or emergency situation and facilitated participation of SMEs in public procurement resilient recovery phase; and publication and approval of amended COVID-19 response budget.

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“The import of the foregoing is that the state is eligible to the total sum of $16,900,000 representing performance-based grant for 2019 APA, with an earlier disbursement of $5m in November,” a statement by the state Ministry of Finance and Planning said.

Of the balance of $11.9 million, the state received additional $9.4 million on Monday, January 4 and awaits the balance of $2.5 million later in the month, the statement added.

The government meanwhile, has explained why it jacked up the budget estimates from N123 billion to roughly N135 billion, representing an increase of about N11 billion.

The breakdown, according to the statement, included a review of the opening balance from N13.6 billion to N19 billion based on funds mopped up from across the MDAs; VAT from N14.6 billion to N15.4 billion; PAYE from N5.6 billion to N5.8 billion; administrative charges from N194.6 million to N346.6 million; Land Use charge from N124.8 million to N174.8 million; SFTAS capital receipt from N3.8 billion to N6.1 billion; and termed loan from N4 billion to N6 billion.

The statement also announced the receipt of N795,327, 222:21 as the third tranche of the 25% refund of unremitted PAYE from federal government’s MDAs domiciled in the state.