The Federal Government has disbursed N123.348billion (USD324.6million) to states under its States Fiscal Transparency Accountability and Sustainability (SFTAS) Programme for Results.

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

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

. Ahmed said the disbursement included N91.048 billion (USD239.6 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 mobilization and debt sustainability.

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

“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,” she 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 (USD120.6 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”.

The Minister stressed that with the disbursement of the total sum of N233.264 billion (USD620.2 million) since the beginning of the Programme for Results, “we have thus far successfully adapted and implemented the SFTAS Programme to provide timely support to States with a view to strengthening their fiscal capacity for responding to numerous fiscal challenges in their respective domains.”

“The increase in the number of benefitting States and results achieved is indicative of the wider acceptance of SFTAS ideals by all States of the Federation and this would herald a new era of transparency and accountability in fiscal governance at the sub-national level,” she said.

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