By JIDAUNA DARING
The Plateau State Commissioner of Finance, Hon. (Dr.) Mrs. Regina P.B Soemlat has inaugurated a 10-man of Domestic Areas Committee to establish a consolidated Internal Domestic Debt Database in the State.
Dr. Soemlat inaugurated the committee at the Conference Hall of the Ministry, J.D Gomwalk State Secretariat Jos, last Tuesday.
Going down memory lane, the Commissioner recalled that there was an endorsement of the state Fiscal, Transparency, Accountability and Sustainability (SFTAS) program the National Economic Council of the Federation which the state submitted an expression of interest for participation to the Ministry of Finance.
She noted that the feat has also informed the approval of the World Bank Board of an International Development Assistance (IDA) credited to the Nigerian Government of $750 Million for the SFTAS programme on June 27, 2019.
The Commissioner maintained that the programme was aimed at strengthening the fiscal, transparency and accountability of states; as well as strengthening domestics revenue mobilization, increased efficiency in public expenditure, and strengthening debt sustainability in Nigerian States.
She added that the programme has two Eligibility Criteria (EC) spanning 2018-2021 and a Disbursement Linked Indicators (DLIS) as condition for fulfillment under the SFTAS Programme before a state can qualify to access the performance based grants.
Dr. Soemlat disclosed that it was in line with the SFTAS requirement for achieving the DLIS 788 Strengthening Public Debt Management and Fiscal Responsibility Framework, aimed at improving clearance/reduction of stock in Domestic Expenditure Arrears respectively.
“I have approved the constitution of the Domestic Arrears Committee (DAC) to validate, contest or reject the debt arrears stock in the state” she said.
She further explained that all Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDAs) were directed to submit liabilities with supportive documents to the committee on or before November 15, 2019 which was last Friday, adding that the general public who have liabilities with the state are asked to make submission to the committee.
She congratulated the committee and enjoined them to take the assignment very seriously as their appointment as members of the committee.
The Commissioner told the committee that time is of essence, saying that much is desired from them so that the state would achieve the Disbursement Linked Indicators 7 and 8 to enable it access the performance-based grant attached to the indicators.
SUNDAY STANDARD reports that the terms of reference were to establish the Debt Arrears Database of the state for the period of 1999 to date, contractual arrears (certificates of job done), pensions, land, gratuities, staff salaries and claims, judgment debts, rent payable, utilities and water rates, JED among others
Other terms of reference were to separate all payments for job done before May 29, 2015 and to be reflected as payments of liabilities by this administration, and to also uphold the established Domestic Debt Arrears Database on the state official website.
Our correspondent also reports that the committee was given the period of two weeks commencing from the inauguration day to complete the assignment.
The committee members includes; Mr. Tsenyil Cyril (AG) as Chairman; Mr. Paul D. Sheku, Co-Chairman; Mr. Songkat Williams, member; Mr. Linus Fulus, members; Mr. Danjuma Namang, member; Mr. Lamba Bot, member; Mrs. Catherine Mancha, Secretariat; Mrs. Patricia M. Monday secretariat and Mrs. Yohanan Yvonne secretariat.
Mr. Cyril who spoke on behalf of the committee appreciated the Commissioner for finding them worthy to serve in the committee and assured her that they would not fail her.