The Federal Government of Nigeria has reaffirmed its commitment to improve fiscal reforms at the subnational level by working assiduously to sustain collaboration with the states and international development partners through programmes such as the World Bank-assisted States Fiscal Transparency, Accountability and Sustainability (SFTAS) Programme which has brought a great deal of reforms that helped to strengthen State Governments’ approach to governance and public finance management.
This affirmation was given on Monday by the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Mr. Wale Edun, at the opening of a Four-day retreat with the theme “Creating a Resilient Economy through Diversification of the Nation’s Revenue’’ organized by the Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) in Asaba, Delta State.
The FAAC is a statutory Committee Chaired by the Honourable Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy with the Accountant-General of the Federation (AGF), Honourable Commissioners of Finance of the 36 States of the Federation, representatives of the Revenue Mobilization, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (FMAFC) and Revenue Generating Agencies (RGAs) amongst others as members.
Mr. Edun, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Special Duties (PSSD) in the Ministry, Mr. Okokon Udo, observed that the $1.5bn SFTAS Program-for-Results, which ends in December 2023 has come of age with remarkable achievements recorded by all the 36 States in key result areas namely: Fiscal transparency and accountability; Domestic revenue mobilization; Efficiency of public expenditures and Debt sustainability. “We hope and encourage the Sub-nationals to continue with these laudable reforms beyond the SFTAS period”.
He revealed that following the success story of SFTAS, the Federal Government in collaboration with the World Bank has come up with another programme called “State Action on Business Enabling Reforms (SABER)” which will effectively run from the year 2023 to 2025. “This program aims at improving the business enabling environment of Nigeria’s states. Other intervention programmes from the World Bank and other International Organisations would continue unabated”.
Speaking in the same vein, the World Bank Senior Economist, Mr. Samer Matta, congratulated the Federal and States’ Governments for the important fiscal reforms initiated under the States Fiscal Transparency, Accountability and Sustainability (SFTAS) Program calling for the sustainability of results especially by new administrations in the States through adhering to the SFTAS Charter signed by Governors in August 2022, committing to continued achievement.