FG Appoints 8 Firms to Monitor States’ Finances
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
Eight renowned and respected audit firms have been appointed by the Federal Government to monitor and evaluate the implementation of the 22-point Fiscal Sustainability Plan which specified the conditions under which 35 state governments in June 2016 accessed the N510 billion Budget Support Facility.
A statement issued on Tuesday by the Finance Ministry’s Director of Information, Mr Salisu Danbatta, disclosed that accounting companies mandated to do the monitoring are PWC, KPMG, Ernst & Young, PKF, Muhtari Dangana & Co/S.S. Afemikhe & Co, Ahmed Zakari and Co/Ijewere & Co.
Mr Danbatta noted that while monitoring of the states by the Federal Ministry of Finance had been ongoing since June 2016, independent monitoring and verification of the states against agreed milestones will now commence by the eight accounting firms.
It was emphasised that the firms will vigorously monitor, evaluate and verify the performance of the states against the agreed milestones set by each State Government under the Fiscal Sustainability Plan and any state found wanting would be taken off the facility with immediate effect.
The Budget Support Facility, a 12-month standby loan facility, was designed to bring immediate financial relief to state governments and enable them meet their financial obligations; with a monthly amount of N50 billion in the first three months and N40 Billion available for the remaining nine months to the 35 states.
The Fiscal Sustainability Plan is a 22-point reform programme which commenced in June, 2016 with requirements including increasing internally generated revenues, introduction of biometric payroll, publication of audited annual financial statements, and reduction of wastages by establishing efficiency units.