World Bank welcomes Kogi’s audited financial statements for 2020

The World Bank has commended the Kogi State Government for the audited state 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 in a letter sent to the Accountant General of Kogi State, dated November 21, 2021.

According to the statement, the letter, which was received by the state accountant general on Nov. 25, was signed by the states Fiscal
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 Audited Financial Statements of Kogi State for the Year Ended 31 December 2020 for State Fiscal Transparency, Accountability and Sustainability”.

The SFTAS is a $750 million program designed to reward states that meet one or all of nine indicators that demonstrate improvements in fiscal 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 meeting up to 22 goals.

The World Bank had supported the federal government in pushing states to properly achieve the 22-point fiscal sustainability plan, which has now been redesigned as nine disbursement-linked indicators under SFTAS.

The criteria to be achieved are the improvement of financial reports and the reliability of the budget; greater openness and citizen engagement in the budget process; improving cash management and reducing revenue losses through the establishment of the State Treasury Single Account (CUT); strengthening the collection of internally generated revenue (RGI); biometric registration and bank verification number (BVN) used to reduce payroll fraud.

Others were improving procurement practices for increased transparency and value for money; strengthening public debt management and fiscal accountability framework; improved clearance/reduction of stock of domestic expenditure arrears; and improving 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, 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 financial year ended 31 December 7020 have been uploaded to the State website in accordance with the eligibility criteria of SFTAS for the financial year 21.

“The financial statements have been prepared on an IPSAS accrual basis and the State Auditor General has issued an audit certificate with an unqualified (unqualified) audit opinion on the financial statement to General Purpose (GPFS) and a 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 letter from the World Bank came about four months after the publication of a letter congratulating Governor Yahaya Bello for his good leadership and the repayment of a surplus of $ 4.63 million under the project. Erosion and Watershed Management Map of Nigeria (NEWMAP).

In the letter of appreciation, titled “Refund of Surplus 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 The Woods Institution was quoted in the statement for claiming that Bello’s action allowed the organization to expand its projects to other states facing funding shortfalls and 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 Kogi’s improvement on its new ICAN Accountability Index (ICAN AI). .

The institute said the state fell from 12th to seventh in its 2019 ratings.

Marianne R. Winn