Independent Verification Agents (IVA) from the World Bank are in Cross River State for the verification exercise as part of the validating criteria of the World Bank State Fiscal Transparency, Accountability and Sustainability Programme for Results (SFTAS) a programme supported by the World Bank in collaboration with the Federal Ministry Finance and the Office of the Auditor General of the Federation which is aimed at improving transparency and accountability in governance for sustainable growth and development.
Speaking during the meeting held at the Conference Room of the Ministry of Finance, the leader of the World Bank IVA team to Cross River, Mrs Isioma Bola-Audu said the team is in Cross River to assess the state’s achievement of the Disbursement-linked results (DLRs) in accordance with the Annual Performance Assessment (APA) guidelines and Disbursement Link Indicators(DLIs) verification protocols.
She noted that the programme has nine Disbursement Link Indicators(DLIs) and attracts grants for State’s that are able to meet the DLIs as an incentive for running a transparent, accountable and sustainable government.
According to her Cross River State is one of a handful of states of the federation that has met with the eligibility criteria of the programme by submitting and publishing online its Annual Budget and Audited Financial Statements in a timely manner, thereby qualifying for the World Bank grant. Further to the State’s qualification, the IVA team is here to verify the state’s performance in 9 different categories of best governance practice.
“We have seen remotely that Cross River State has done well in achieving the eligibility criteria and we are here to verify the Disbursement Linked Indicators in accordance with the verification protocols” She stated.
Cross River State Commissioner for Finance, Mr Asuquo Ekpenyong Jr in his remarks welcomed the World Bank team to the state and assured them that the administration will never deviate from running a transparent, accountable and sustainable government in line with the State’s Public Finance Management Laws and the State’s Fiscal Responsibility Law as passed and assented to.
The Commissioner stressed that Cross River State has been able to show that governance is being run in a transparent, accountable & sustainable manner which is why the state has succeeded in qualifying for the World Bank Grants.
The Cross River State’s SFTAS Steering Committee is Chaired by the Ministry of Finance and comprises of the Internal Revenue Service, Office of the Accountant General, Bureau of Due Process & Procurement, Budget Office, Office of the Head of Service and Debt Management Department.