By G9ija

The Federal Government has disbursed N123.348 billion (or $324.6 million) to states under its States Fiscal Transparency Accountability and Sustainability (SFTAS) Programme for Results.

Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, made this known in a statement signed by Mr. Hassan Dodo, the Ministry’s Director of Press and Public Relations, on Wednesday in Abuja.

The Finance minister explained that the disbursement followed the achievements of results by the states in the just- concluded 2019 Annual Performance Assessment (APA).

Ahmed said the disbursement included N91.048 billion (or $239.6 million) of performance-based grants for the 2019 APA results achieved by 32 eligible states across various Disbursement Linked Indicators (DLIs) covering fiscal transparency, accountability, expenditure efficiency, revenue mobilisation and debt sustainability.

States received grants in line with the number of results achieved, with Sokoto State receiving the highest amount of N6.612 billion while Kano State got the lowest amount of N1.710 billion.

“Bayelsa, Imo, Rivers and Zamfara States got zero allocation due to their inability to meet the 2019 eligibility criteria which required states to publish online approved annual budgets and audited financial statements within a specific timeframe,” Ahmed said.

She further noted that the 2019 APA results were a significant improvement on the 2018 APA results where the total performance-based grants of N43.416 billion (or $120.6 million) were received by 24 eligible states, demonstrating the substantive progress states have made on fiscal reforms.

The minister added that “the second part of the disbursement involved a new COVID-19 response DLI: The implementation of a tax compliance relief programme for individual tax payers and businesses by states by 30 September 2020 where 34 out of 36 states (only Anambra and Zamfara states missed out) were able to achieve the results for this new DLI for the total of N32.3 billion (USD 85 million) of grants”.