The Director General of Niger State Open Government Partnership (OGP), Alhaji Sirajo has disclosed that some Nigerian states may not be able to access a $700 million grant from the World Bank.
Grants are non-repayable funds disbursed or given by one party, often a government department, corporation, foundation or trust, to a recipient, often (but not always) a nonprofit entity, educational institution, business or an individual.
While speaking during a collaborative meeting with Niger state Open Alliance OGP Civil Society Organisation group in Minna, Sirajo said some states would not have access to the grant if they fail to publish their 2019 budget online before the end of February 2019.
Sirajo emphasised that the grant which would come under the states’ fiscal transparency accountability and sustainability programme, has been collected by the Federal Government on behalf of the states.
“For states to be eligible for this World Bank grant there are 17 DLIs to be met and achieved but most importantly, states will have to publish their audited financial statements for 2017 on or before December 2018 while the budgets must be published online before the end of February 2019.”
According to the Director General, the purpose of the grant was to encourage the government to be more open, transparent and accountable to its citizens.
Sirajo said the Niger state government is working towards ensuring it gets the grant which is the reason for the early submission of the 2019 budget to the House of Assembly, who are being urged to expedite action on it to enable the approved budget to be ready before the end of January 2019.
About World Bank
The World Bank is an international financial institution that provides loans to countries of the world for capital projects. It comprises two institutions: the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), and the International Development Association (IDA).
World Bank’s most recent stated goal is the reduction of poverty. As of November 2018, the largest recipients of world bank loans were India ($859 million in 2018) and China ($370 million in 2018) through loans from IBRD.