The Federal Government’s decision to audit utilisation of N510 billion stimulus package disbursed to states in 2016 has received the backing of commissioners for finance from the 36 states of the federation.
The endorsement was confirmed on Monday in Abuja by the Chairman, Forum of Finance Commissioners of the Federation Account Allocation Committee, Mahmoud Yunusa.
Mr. Yunusa said the states would cooperate with the audit firms appointed by the government to carry out the exercise.
The Federal Government had, in December 2016, appointed eight accounting firms to evaluate the rate of compliance by state governments to the implementation of the Fiscal Sustainability Plan which they signed in June 2016.
A total of 35 states signed onto the plan with Lagos being the only state that backed out of the agreement.
The FSP was a condition given by the Federal Government before it commenced the disbursement of the N510 billion budget support facility to the states to enable them pay workers’ salaries.
Before the conditional loan was released by the Federal Government, about 27 states were unable to pay the salaries of their workers.
The appointment of the firms was confirmed by the Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, through a statement by the Director, Information, in the Ministry of Finance, Salisu Dambatta.
The accounting firms are PriceWaterHouse Coopers, KPMG Professional Services, Ernst and Young, PKF Professional Services, Muhtari Dangana and Co, S.S. Afemikhe and Co, Ahmed Zakari and Co, and Ijewere and Co.
Mr. Yunusa said the scarcity of resources to implement the programmes of government owing to economic recession, had made it imperative for states to be prudent and transparent in the area of financial management.
“The plan of the Federal Government to audit the fiscal sustainability plan of the states is welcomed.
“They are welcome because we have nothing to hide in the states.
“The resources are no longer there and so whatever resources that we have, must be effectively, transparently and judiciously used to the benefit of the people,” he said.