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W/Bank ready to assist States to strengthen fiscal sustainability plan

As part of its contributions in aid of states coming out of recession and fiscal imbalance, the World Bank Group has offered to assist state governments in Nigeria to improve their fiscal sustainability by strengthening and consolidating the Fiscal Sustainability Plan.

In a statement issued on Friday by the Director, Information, Ministry of Finance, Mr. Salisu Dambatta, World Bank was quoted as being ready to work with states government to recape avoidable financial flaws capable of ruining the states’ financial operations.

The FSP was introduced by the Federal Government in 2016 as part of the measures to tackle the 2015-2016 fiscal crisis.

The fiscal crisis, which was caused by sharp declines in revenue and budget spending, forced the Federal Government to give two bailouts to the state governments.

The plan is also an instrument for reforming the whole gamut of the public sector financial management system spanning the three tiers of government.

The 22-point FSP was acceded to by state governments in 2016 in order to implement fundamental reforms.

The reforms border on taking measures, including instilling a regime of fiscal transparency and accountability, improving Internally Generated Revenue, taming of unnecessary recurrent expenditure and strengthening adherence to debt management guidelines by the states.

The proposed intervention by the World Bank, according to the statement, will involve financing capacity building and providing technical support for officials in the 36 states of the federation.

This will be achieved by equipping them with the requisite knowledge and skills to effectively manage the comprehensive implementation of the components of the FSP on a sustainable basis.

Danbatta noted that “The objective was to ensure that the states were put on the path that would lead them out of the situation in which they had to be bailed out or fail to meet their financial obligations for the well-being of the citizenry.”

Checks by Business Hilights show that many Nigerian states are not usually in the character of revealing their fiscal details with external bodies.