A World Bank reform Programme known as States Fiscal Transparency, Accountability, and Sustainability (SFTAS) is a program aimed at supporting the Federal Government to strengthen the fiscal transparency, accountability, and sustainability in the participating states. The program is a hybrid with two components of activities that support Nigerian states to achieve the key result areas of the program which includes (1) a performance-based financing component for state governments, which will be implemented as a PforR; and (2) a technical assistance (TA) component for states and selected national-level institutions, which will be implemented as an investment project financing (IPF). The program will support the full and sustained implementation of a strategic subset of reforms from the FSP and the open government partnership (OGP) commitments that are implemented at the state-level. The PforR will cover the fiscal performance of states over four fiscal years: 2018-2021. The program will provide performance-based financing on an annual basis to states which have been verified through the annual performance assessments (APA) as having: (1) complied with the annual eligibility criteria; and (2) achieved the annual disbursement linked results (DLRs).
The rationale behind the State Fiscal Transparency, Accountability and Sustainability (SFTAS) Programme is informed by the current serious fiscal challenges faced by the states with many unable to pay backlog of salary arrears of several months due to poor fiscal governance occasioned by high cost of governance, profligacy poor revenue drive amongst others particularly Kogi State that is still battling with backlog of salary arrears reportedly inherited from past administration.
Under the stewardship of Governor Yayaha Bello, multiple approach were adopted in order to contain the backlog using various methods and having qualified for the scheme, not less than 10,000 farmers in Kogi State are to benefit from the $200 million grant of the World Bank assisted Agro Processing Productivity Enhancement and Livelihood improvement Support (APPEALS) project. The project, which is to last for period of seven years is aimed at supporting women and youth to boost the production of Productivity of three priority value chains – rice, cashew and cassava. Aside from Kogi State, Kano, Kaduna, Enugu, Cross River and Lagos States were selected by the World Bank after a competitive process for the implementation of the APPEALS project.
Qualification for the APPEALS Programme is influenced by political will of the various State Governors who qualified for the scheme across the country. According to Rachid Benmessaoud, World Bank Country Director for Nigeria “The project supports the country policy thrusts on food security, local production, job creation and economic diversification. It responds to the recurring issues of low productivity, limited farmers’ participation to agribusiness supply chains, and institutional realignment in the agricultural sector.”
El Hadj Adama Toure, Lead Agriculture Specialist at the World Bank was quoted saying “The number of project’s direct beneficiaries is 60,000 individuals, 35 percent of which will be women. Overall, about 300,000 farm household members are indirect beneficiaries.”
The credit is financed from the International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank Group’s grant and low-interest arm. It will be on standard IDA terms, with a maturity of 25 years, including a grace period of 5 years.