Why We Withhold Ekiti State‘s Allocation——-Finance Ministry
The Federal Government of Nigeria, through the Finance Ministry yesterday explained that it withheld statutory allocation due to Ekiti state because the state failed to comply “with the necessary requirements for participating in the Budget Support Facility (BSF)”.
The Director of Information, Ministry of Finance, Salisu Na’Inna Dambatta explained this in a statement.
According to the Ministry BSF is “a Conditional Loan Programme to State Governments introduced with the view to enhancing fiscal prudence and designed particularly to enhance transparency, efficiency in public expenditure and payment of salaries”, adding that this is not the first time of non-compliance by the Ekiti State Government.
The statement continued, “His administration defaulted in meeting the conditions specified and agreed upon by the 35 State Governments that are participating in the programme as contained in the Fiscal Sustainability Plan (FSP) and the Ekiti State Government was warned formally of its failure to comply with the full requirements vide a letter on August 5, 2016, with reference number HMF/FMF/ASG/1/2016”.
Explaining further, the statement said, “The failure of Ekiti State Government to comply with the requirements and conditions for the Budget Support Facility (BSF) resulted in a letter sent to the Chief of Staff to notify him of the suspension of BSF for Ekiti State and it was conveyed to Mr. President before payment to the Ekiti State Government was reinstated. The Ekiti State Government and all the other participating states are aware of the consequence of failure to comply with the full conditions and it is not the first time that a State would be stopped from accessing the Facility due to non-compliance.”
“In the course of its normal duties, the Ministry of Finance has the right to query, suspend or withhold funds as part of the conditions of the Budget Support Facility.The process is for the Commissioner of Finance of any State or the Governor having issues to contact the Federal Ministry of Finance and resolve the issues without resorting to the media because such issues are of a financial nature and therefore, confidential; they are routinely resolved amicably by the parties involved.”
The Federal Ministry of Finance in the stated statement reiterated that the Budget Support Facility is a conditional programme and that the Federal Government would not be intimidated or threatened in the discharge of its duties.
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