Cross River state has emerged top on the ranking of states having achieved 100% in the 2020 Additional Finance Annual Performance Assessment (APA) carried out in November 2020. This achievement was earned after a detailed annual performance assessment of all 36 Nigerian states under the State’s Fiscal Transparency, Accountability and Sustainability (SFTAS) programme.
SFTAS is a World Bank-funded competitive programme of the federal government which rewards states for meeting specifically set indicators for improved fiscal transparency, accountability and sustainability.
The programme report also notes that Cross River state has strengthened its Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) collection, implemented biometric verification to reduce payroll fraud; improved its procurement practices for increased transparency and value for money; strengthened its public debt management and fiscal responsibility framework; improved debt sustainability and instituted a more transparent budgeting process over the course of the fiscal year.
Cross River state Commissioner for Finance and Chairman of the State SFTAS Steering Committee, Mr Asuquo Ekpenyong Jr, revealed that the independent verification success is a confirmation of Governor Ayade’s commitment to transparency, accountability and fiscal performance.
This achievement by the Ayade-led administration has set a national record and is indeed an endorsement by the World Bank, the world’s foremost international financial institution.
The Cross River SFTAS Steering Committee comprises the internal revenue service, office of accountant general, budget office, bureau of due process, office of the auditor general and the debt management office.