Nigeria: World Bank welcomes Kogi’s 2020 audited financial statements

The World Bank congratulated the Kogi State government on the state’s audited financial statements for 2020.

The multilateral institution reportedly described financial reporting as a standard of transparency and accountability in the public sector.

The bank was cited in a statement for praising it in a letter to the Kogi State Accountant General, dated November 21, 2021.

According to the statement, the letter, which was received by the state accountant general on November 25, was signed by the state tax administration.

Transparency, Accountability and Sustainability Program (SFTAS) Team Leader, Nigeria Country Office, West and Central Africa Region, Deborah Hannah Isser.

The letter was titled: “Nigeria: Review of Kogi State Audited Financial Statements for the Fiscal Year Ended December 31, 2020 for State Fiscal Transparency, Accountability and Sustainability”.

SFTAS is a $ 750 million program to reward states for achieving one or all of the nine indicators that demonstrate improvements in tax transparency, accountability and sustainability.

The nine indicators were an offshoot of the federal government’s previous fiscal sustainability plan, in which states were to be rewarded for achieving up to 22 goals.

The World Bank had supported the federal government in urging states to properly complete the 22-point fiscal sustainability plan, which has now been redesigned into nine indicators linked to SFTAS disbursements.

The criteria to be achieved are the improvement of financial reporting and the reliability of the budget; increased openness and citizen engagement in the budget process; improving cash management and reducing revenue losses through the implementation of the State Treasury Single Account (CUT); strengthening the collection of internally generated income (IGR); biometric record and Bank Verification Number (BVN) used to reduce payroll fraud.

Others were improved procurement practices for increased transparency and better value for money; strengthened framework for public debt management and fiscal accountability; improvement of the clearance / reduction of the stock of domestic expenditure arrears; and improved debt sustainability.

The SFTAS program is part of the federal government’s efforts to further improve transparency and accountability in the use of public resources through the implementation of the Open Government Partnership, to which Nigeria signed in July 2016.

The World Bank, in its letter to the Kogi State government, commended the State for preparing its audited financial statements in accordance with the accrual basis of International Public Sector Accounting Standards.

He added: “We note that the audited financial statements of Kogi State for the fiscal year ended December 31, 7020 have been uploaded to the State website in accordance with SFTAS eligibility criteria for the fiscal year. 21.

“The financial statements have been prepared on the basis of IPSAS accrual accounting and the State Auditor General has issued an audit certificate with an unqualified (own) audit opinion on the financial statement to General Purpose (GPFS) and Special Opinion on the SFTAS Program Expenditure Framework during the period.

“The bank has reviewed the audited financial statements and found them acceptable for the fiduciary assurance requirements of the SFTAS program.”

According to the statement, the World Bank letter came about four months after issuing a letter congratulating Governor Yahaya Bello on his good leadership and repaying a surplus of $ 4.63 million under Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Management Project (NEWMAP).

In the letter of appreciation, entitled “Repayment of excess project funds to the World Bank under the Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Management Project (NEWMAP) (IDA credits: 62770, 62780)”, signed by its regional director, Shubham Chaudhuri, the Bretton Woods institution was cited in the statement for claiming that Bello’s action enabled the organization to expand its projects to other states facing deficit funds and on the closing date of its projects.

The World Bank’s latest letter also comes about a month after the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) recognized the improvement in Kogi State on its ICAN’s Novel Accountability Index (ICAN AI).

The institute said the state dropped from No. 12 to No. 7 in its 2019 assessments.

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Marianne R. Winn