The Federal Government is set to commence an audit of the utilization of Federal Governments bail-out funds to state governments amounting to about N510 billion last year.
Consequently, eight accounting firms have been appointed to review how state governors have been spending the said money and whether or not they complied with stipulations of the Fiscal Sustainability Plan (FSP), which was the basis for the funds.
Vanguard reports that the firms are: KPMG, Ernst & Young, PriceWater Coopers, PKF, Muhtari Dangana & Co, S. S. Afemikhe & Co, as well as Ahmed Zakari & Co and Ijewere & Co.
Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, said in Abuja yesterday that the accounting firms would evaluate the states based on their implementation of the 22-point FSP.
According to her, the ministry has been monitoring the utilization since last year but found it necessary at this stage to employ independent firms for the “monitoring and verification of the States against agreed milestones under the FSP.”
She said that the firms were “expected to vigorously monitor, evaluate and verify the performance of the States against the agreed milestones set by each State Government under the Fiscal Sustainability Plan.”
The minister warned that state governments that fail to implement the action plans, as stated, would be taken off the facility with immediate effect.
The funds, under a programme of ”Budget Support Facility”, a 12-month standby loan facility, was designed to bring immediate financial relief to State Governments and enable them meet their financial obligations; with a monthly amount of N50 billion in the first three months and N40 billion available for the remaining nine months to 35 States.