The Federal Government has urged states to domesticate the National Chart of Account (NCoA) to qualify for performance-based grants under the States’ Fiscal Transparency Accountability and Sustainability (SFTAS) Programme for Results 2020 Annual Performance Assessment (APA) and COVID 19 related Disbursement Linked Indicators (DLIs) due in 2021.
SFTAS is a $1.5 billion programme for results supported by the World Bank, which aims to strengthen fiscal governance at the state level.
This call was made last Thursday by Mr. Stephen Okon, National Programme Coordinator (NPC) of the SFTAS Programme while declaring open a one-day NCoA Sensitization Workshop organized by the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) for the Independent Verification Agent (IVA). The IVA is the Office of the Auditor General of the Federation (OAuGF).
According to Communication Specialist, SFTAS Programme Coordination Unit, Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget
And National Planning, Ibrahim Mohammed, Okon explained that NCoA provides a standard template approved by the Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) to be domesticated by all levels of government for the purposes of planning, budgeting, accounting, and reporting of their financial transactions.
Upon full adoption, citizens will be able to track across all States, budget line items by Ministries, Departments and Agencies, economic transaction, fund type, function, programme and location.
He submitted that “the adoption of National Chart of Accounts (NCoA) by State governments will strengthen the country’s national accounting and budget monitoring; promoting greater transparency and accountability at all levels of government.”
The SFTAS National Programme Coordinator observed that while some states have properly domesticated the NCoA in the past, many still struggle to accurately report according to the set requirements. To assist States with the domestication process, the Federal Ministry of Finance Budget and National Planning (FMFBNP) in collaboration with the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) has provided technical assistance in the form of advisory and capacity building training for budget officials across the 36 States.
The exercise which began with a series of sensitization workshops in October 2020 was succeeded by hands-on technical budget walk-through workshops which ran till the end of January 2021.
This was supported by the dissemination of carefully designed reporting templates and self-paced video tutorials on NCoA domestication.
Speaking in the same vein, the Director-General of NGF, Mr. Asishana Okauru explained that “the objective of the collaboration is to ensure that no State is left behind.
Every State should get the support it requires to deliver on the agreed reforms.”
Okauru announced that 36 states were currently adjudged to have met the eligibility criterion of preparing their FY19 audited financial statement in accordance with the International Public Sector
He adds that in the coming months, the Independent Verification Agent will be verifying States’ compliance with the NCoA requirement for the FY 2021 budget and the 2020 SFTAS Eligibility Criteria.
By Sanya Adejokun,