Ekiti State Government has successfully met the criteria for the year 2023 to benefit from the $750 million International Development Association (IDA) credit made available to States under the World Bank State Action on Business Enabling Reforms (SABER) programme.

The State Commissioner for Information, Rt. Hon. Taiwo Olatunbosun, made this known in Ado Ekiti while briefing journalists on the outcome of the State Executive Council meeting.

Rt. Hon. Olatunbosun explained that the SABER is a three-year (2023-2025) performance-based intervention jointly designed by the World Bank and the Presidential Enabling Business Council (PEBEC) Secretariat, with support from the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget & National Planning (FMFBNP), the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF), and the State Commissioners for Finance Forum of Nigeria.

Olatunbosun added that SABER was designed as a Programme-for-Results (PforR) similar to the State Fiscal Transparency Accountability and Sustainability (SFTAS) to motivate and strengthen the implementation of business enabling reforms across the 36 States and the FCT, further consolidate and deepen gains from the implementation of Ease of Doing Business (EoDB) reforms across the States, improve business environment of participating States and improve accountability of business enabling reforms.

He highlighted the eight disbursement links indicators (DLIs) of the programme to include improved transparency and sustainability in property registration and land investment process, improved business-enabling infrastructure, development of an effective PPP framework for States and improved investment promotion environment.

The Commissioner listed other DLIs as increased transparency of official fees and procedures, improved domestic and external trade competitiveness, simplification of State and Local business tax regimes and quick determination of commercial disputes.

Recalling that the index released last month by the Center for Fiscal Transparency and Integrity Watch in collaboration with the MacArthur Foundation had placed Ekiti State on top of its Index Fiscal Transparency and Integrity Watch list, Olatunbosun assured of the Governor Biodun Oyebanji administration’s commitment to performance and rapid development of the State.

The Government’s spokesman said that the State Executive Council also approved the presentation of a revised Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) 2023-2025 and draft of 2023 Supplementary Budget (2) to the State House of Assembly for legislative processing and passage into Law.

He clarified that the MTEF and the supplementary budget were reviewed to accommodate the increase in revenue occasioned by the economic policy of the Federal Government which brought about the unification of the exchange rate of the Naira and the US Dollar as well as the fuel subsidy removal.

Olatunbosun said that to appropriate the additional revenue, there was need to review the 2023-2025 MTEF and the 2023 budget of the State Government in line with the Fiscal policy.

He further explained that the new supplementary bill, which will enable the State Government implement critical and essential programmes that could not be included in the original budget owing to funding constraints, was prepared in line with 2023-2025 MTEF approved ceiling of N135,862,361,989.00.

The Commissioner gave the revised revenue projections for the period 2023 to 2025 using 2022 as base year as N152,011,064,800.00 for 2023; N171,485,045,124.00 for 2024 and N191,718,965,296.00 for 2025.

Putting the total size of the draft supplementary budget at N144,733,403,166.24 with recurrent expenditure of N98, 767,639,961.31 and capital expenditure of N45,965,763,204.93 which translates to ratio 68:32, the Commissioner stressed that the revised MTEF document is in line with the State Development Plan (2021-2050) and the six pillars of the Biodun Oyebanji administration.

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