By Kingsley Omoyeni
Having met the eligibility criteria of the State Fiscal Transparency, Accountability and Sustainability Programme for Results(SFTAS), the Independent Verification Agents(IVA) from the World Bank arrived Oṣùn on Monday for a 5-day verification exercise.
SFTAS, a programme supported by the World Bank in collaboration with the Federal Ministry Finance and the Office of the Auditor-General of the federation is aimed at further improving transperency and accountability in governance for sustainable growth and development.
The programme which will run for four years(2018-2022) has nine Disbursement Link Indicators(DLIs) and attracts a grants for any state that is able to meet the DLIs as incentive/grant for running a transperent, accountable and an all inclusive government.
Osun is one out of 24 states of the federation that has met with the eligibility criteria of the programme qualifying her for the World Bank grant, hence the visit of the IVA team to check facts for themselves.
Speaking during the opening meeting maiden meeting with the stakeholders, leader of the World Bank/IVA team to Oṣùn, Mr Adewale Oyinlola said the whole idea of the programme is to ensure that the public gets a feel of what government is doing on their behalf.
He said the aim of the World Bank is to see that by the end of the programme, every participating state should have imbibed the culture of running a transperent and accountable government that will be to the benefit of all.
Oyinlola further explained that the State of Osun has been able to show that governance is being run in a transperent manner which is why the state has succeeded in attracting the Independent Verification Agents(IVA) from the World Bank to the state for necessary verification.
He said, “the SFTAS programme is a step by the World Bank to ensure that the masses gets value for money and for their votes to be counted. The programme is conceived to help states answer critical questions such as: are citizens carried along in the formulation and implementation of the budget?
“Are tax payers money spent judiciously? Are campaign promises being met? What are the rational for public expenditures? These are the questions the SFTAS programme aims to find positive answers to.
“Of course if the answers to most of theses questions are in the negative, SFTAS will want to know what the problem is and how to assist such governments get it right, that is why it is hoped that by the end of the fours years of this programme, everything should be fine.
“I want to commend Oṣùn for taking steps in the right direction and that is why we are here. We have seen through the books that Oṣùn is doing well but we want to see things for ourselves”. He stated.
In their seperate remarks, the Commissioner for Finance, Mr Bola Oyebamiji and his colleague in the Ministry of Economic Planning, Budget and Development, Prof. Olalekan Yinusa who welcomed the World Bank team to the state said the administration of Mr Adegboyega Oyetola will never deviate from running a transperent, accountable and all inclusive government.