United States Agency for International Development (USAID) through its Accountability, Transparency and Effectiveness(State2State) project, is partnering with the Federal Government for a transparent financial management system in 36 states in Nigeria.
Mr John Onyeukwu, Deputy Chief of Party of the State2State project, disclosed this to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Tuesday, at the sideline of a three day workshop for six focal states.
The focal states are Akwa Ibom, Adamawa, Bauchi, Ebonyi, Gombe, Sokoto.
Onyeukwu said that part of the focus of the project was to enable states of the federation to run accountable financial systems that would provide quality service in basic education, health and other priority sectors.
He further said that State2State, a five year project, meant to run from 2020 to 2025, was to ensure that public finance management was not only transparent but inclusive.
“When there is public finance management and citizens are involved, there is less conflict, there will be development and states will be able to make the right investments.
“Also, citizens will be able to have quality services in basic education, primary healthcare as well as Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WaSH).
“We know states have their priority projects but in the hierarchy of human needs, you will realise that education, health and WaSH are things that can pull us out of poverty,” he said.
The chief of party noted that the project was designed to ensure that states were major stakeholders.
He added that governors of the six focal states had been briefed on the project and had registered their commitment to making it achieve its aim.
While explaining the activities of the project, Onyeukwu said one of the major focuses was helping states develop the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) of between 2022 and 2025.
“In this project, the budget cycle is an important factor, where there has to be a Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF), which is a three year plan, from which budget is derived every year.
“So, all our benefitting states are in the process of initiating their budget for the year 2022.
“What USAID is doing is to help the states prepare the MTEF so that it will be an easy ride for them,” he said.
He disclosed that besides State2State, there was a 750 million dollars World Bank project called State Financial Transparency Programme, which states could benefit from.
He said, “our ambition is to ensure that the states we are working with will be the top six states in that process in the next programme.
“The project is designed in a way that states, which base their performance on certain indices like publishing their budget, will have access to the fund.
“This is another source of resources for states to pay bills, particularly now that federal revenue share is reducing.
“So states are very anxious to have additional revenue and manage what they have very well as well as make the citizens happy.”
NAN reports some of the focal points of the workshop are, identifying fiscal risks and mitigation actions as well as sector and MDAs allocations and explanations.