The World Bank –State Fiscal Transparency, Accountability, and Sustainability (WB- SFTAS) Independent Verification Agents (IVA) was on a 5-Day working visit to Kwara State for the Year 2019 Annual Performance Assessment between Monday 17th and Friday 21st August 2020.
The visit of the SFTAS program for Results (PforR) to the State was to evaluate the efficiency of the State’s use of Treasury Single Account (TSA), Cash Management Strategy, Civil Servants Biometric System and the growth of the Internally Generated Revenue, etc.
The 5-Man working team of the Independent Verification Agents (IVA) from the Office of the Auditor General of the Federation led by Mr. Victor Inyama were received by the Kwara State Government Steering Committee’s Chairman, the Honourable Commissioner for Finance and Planning Mrs. Olasumbo Oyeyemi, Committee Deputy Chairman; the Executive Chairman of Kwara State Internal Revenue Service, Shade Omoniyi in the company of other committee members at the Kwara State Ministry of Finance and Planning Complex.
In his opening speech, the IVA Team lead, Mr. Inyama, explained that parts of the team’s visit to Kwara State was to critically observe the State’s procurement processes, expenditures, transparency, and sustainability of policies which are key criteria in the review processes of the Annual Performances of Nigerian States.
According to the Commissioner for Finance and Planning, Mrs. Olasumbo Oyeyemi, she remarked that the World Bank-SFTAS program is a World Bank program in agreement with the Federal Government of Nigeria with the motive of strengthening fiscal transparency, accountability, and sustainability in the Nigerian States; optimistic that Kwara State will accrue more to itself for the year 2019 than it did for 2018,when the sum of 5 Million dollars (N1.8bn) for the 2018 Annual Performance Assessment grants was received, having fulfilled the eligibility criteria.
She further explained that SFTAS program will further provide performance-based grants and technical assistance to States over 4 years from 2018 to 2021 subject to attaining eligibility and satisfying Key Performance Indicators centered on fiscal transparency and accountability.
The 5-Day verification exercise, held at the Ministry of Finance and Planning Conference room, revealed some key conformity as verified during the visit and confirmed by the IVA Team, which were in the State’s Treasury Single Account (TSA), KW-IRS simplified method of revenue collection, Provision of ease of Covid-19 burdens on taxpayers, Financial statement publicity, Identification of State’s financial sources, Strategic elimination of ghost workers, Timely publication of proposed and amended budget for the year 2019, etc.
Mr. Inyama commended the Kwara State Steering Committee for providing an easy platform for the successful verification exercise, adding that, all data gathered during the exercise are genuine.He noted that there will always be room for improvement.
The Executive Chairman of KW-IRS,who doubles as Committee Deputy Chairman, Shade Omoniyi, in her closing remarks, commended the IVA team for a fair and rigorous verification exercise. She assured that the KW-IRS as an ISO Certified revenue-generating agency is not only concerned about collecting money from taxpayers but also to ensure taxpayers get good treatment and value for taxes being paid.
She noted that at the completion of findings and presentation of recommendations to (WB- SFTAS), all sectors in the State are bound to improve more in terms of their processes and a more accountable government will be obtainable as a way of display of advancement.