The Federal Government has spelt out 22 stringent conditions Nigeria’s 36 states must fulfill to be eligible to draw from the N90billion set aside to bail out states facing severe financial difficulties.
Most Nigerian states are broke and unable to pay salaries of workers, fund key services or execute development projects.
The states remained in financial hardship despite a July 2015 Central Bank of Nigeria-packaged special intervention fund that doled out between N250 to N300 billion in the form of soft loans to enable the states pay backlog of salaries.
The states also enjoyed a debt relief programme designed by the Debt Management Office (DMO) which helped them to restructure their commercial loans of over N660 bn, extending the life span of the loans while reducing the states’ debt-servicing expenditures.
That however failed to pull the states out of distress and the federal government is now considering a fresh N90billion loan package for them
But to access the funds, according to Babafemi Ojudu, the special adviser to the president on political matters, states must fulfill 22 conditions.
Mr. Ojudu posted the conditions on his Facebook page on Wednesday.
They are listed below.
1. Publish audited annual financial statements within 9 months of financial year end.
2. Introduction and compliance with the International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS).
Publish State budget online annually.
3. Publish budget implementation performance report online quarterly.
4. Develop standard IPSAS compliant software to be offered to States for use by State and Local Governments.
5. Set realistic and achievable targets to improve independently generated revenue (from all revenue generating activities of the State in addition to tax collections) and ratio of capital to recurrent expenditure.
6. Implementation of targets Implement a centralized Treasury Single Account (TSA) in each State.
7. Quarterly financial reconciliation meetings between Federal and State Governments to cover VAT, PAYE remittances, refunds on Government projects, Paris Club and other accounts.
8. Share the database of companies within each State with the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS). The objective is to improve VAT and PAYE collection.
9. Introduce a system to allow for the immediate issue of VAT / WHT certificates on payment of invoices.
10. Review all revenue related laws and update of obsolete rates / tariffs.
Set limits on personnel expenditure as a share of total budgeted expenditure.
11. Biometric capture of all States’ Civil Servants will be carried out to eliminate payroll fraud.
12. Establishment of Efficiency Unit.
Federal Government online price guide to be made available for use by States.
13. Introduce a system of Continuous Audit (internal audit).
14. Create a fixed asset and liability register.
16. Establish a Capital Development Fund to ring-fence capital receipts and adopt accounting policies to ensure that capital receipts are strictly applied to capital projects.
17. Domestication of the Fiscal Responsibility Act (FRA).
18. Attainment and maintenance of a credit rating by each State of the Federation.
19. Federal Government to encourage States to access funds from the capital markets for bankable projects through issuance of fast- track Municipal bond guidelines to support smaller issuances and shorter tenures.
20. Full compliance with the FRA and reporting obligations, including;
21. No commercial bank loans to be undertaken by States;
22. Routine submission of updated debt profile report to the DMO.