COVID-19: FGN disburses N66.5bn to states to boost budget

To tackle the COVID-19 pestilence, the Federal Government on Wednesday announced the disbursement of N66.5 billion to eligible states on the basis of the Amended COVID-19 Responsive 2020 Budget results achievement.

Mrs. Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, who disclosed this in a statement signed by Mr. Hassan Dodo, the Ministry’s Director of Press and Public Relations in Abuja, explained that the disbursement followed compliance with the Amended COVID-19 Responsive 2020 Budget by 35 eligible states in the country.

Rivers is the only state that missed out on the grant due to its inability to meet the eligibility criteria which required the states to have passed and published online on a state’s website by July 31, 2020 credible, fiscally responsible COVID-19 Responsive Amended 2020 Budgets duly approved by the State House of Assembly and assented to by the state governor.

The programme is wholly-financed with a loan amount of $750 million from the International Development Association (IDA), a member of the World Bank Group. Each state received the total sum of N1.9billion equivalent of $5million. The disbursement, according to the minister, is under the performance-based grant component of the World Bank-Assisted States Fiscal Transparency, Accountability and Sustainability (SFTAS) Programme-for-Results.

According to Ahmed, the Amended 2020 State Budget must also include standardised budget documentation to enhance clarity, transparency and accessibility.

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