Protect Fiscal Responsibility Act 2007, FRC Boss Charges NASS

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Following the approval by the President that the Orosanye Report should be implemented, Executive Chairman of the Fiscal Responsibility Commission, Victor Muruako has called on the leadership of the National Assembly to embrace and protect the Fiscal Responsibility Act 2007.

The Oronsaye report recommends the scrapping and merging of government agencies that have similar roles.

He made this call during a capacity-building workshop on Fiscal Responsibility and Public Finance Management Organised by OrderPaper

He made it clear that the Fiscal Responsibility Commission is a Parliamentary Agency that should be embraced and protected by the National Assembly because that Commission was established through parliamentary approval.  

FRC boss said, “As stewards of our nation’s fiscal well-being, it is incumbent upon us to fortify our knowledge and expertise in navigating the complexities of fiscal governance”. To that effect, he went down memory lane to the period immediately following the enactment of the Fiscal Responsibility Act (FRA) in 2007 and the subsequent inauguration of the Fiscal Responsibility Commission (FRC), with a mandate to monitor and enforce provisions of the Act. 

According to Muruako, “It was with much praise and excitement that Nigerians welcomed the only law to ever come out of the Parliament with the emphatic title of, “An Act to Provide for Prudent Management of the Nation’s Resources, ensure Long-Term Macro-Economic Stability of the National Economy, Secure Greater Accountability and Transparency in Fiscal Operations …”. 

“However, it didn’t take long for it to be observed that the much-awaited law was born with congenital weaknesses.  Like a child born with incomplete faculties, there was an inbuilt limit to what the Commission could do towards fulfilling the intendment of the Act.” 

He said though the FRC has been undaunted in its vigorous implementation of the Act, “we know that the amendment of the Fiscal Responsibility Act stands as a critical juncture in our nation’s journey towards bolstering fiscal prudence and ensuring the efficient allocation of resources for the benefit of all Nigerians. We dare say that if this Act had been amended in good time, Nigeria might have been spared the current macroeconomic challenges it has found itself grappling with.”

He noted that the leadership of the 10th Assembly, at different times, have publicly expressed interest and commitment to the amendment of the Fiscal Responsibility Act and history has simply reposed on them the onerous responsibility of crafting a superior framework for public finance management through the amendment of the FRA.

He said the presence of the Deputy Speaker, Rt. Hon. Benjamin Okezie Kalu at the workshop underscores their commitment to this noble cause and his confidence that their collective efforts will propel the Commission towards a more robust and resilient fiscal framework.

He thanked the Deputy Speaker for considering the program very key and the sentiment he has shown in ensuring the new regime of fiscal responsibility and accountability in our public finance management and promised to work hard in ensuring we get their level of fiscal accountability to where it should be and the Commission has made three consecutive efforts to amend the Fiscal Responsibility Act, 2007 even after it has gone for public hearing at the Senate.

In response, the Deputy Speaker assured the Commission of the support of the National Assembly and went further to call for more such engagement, conversation and capacity building on strengthening workshops on Fiscal Responsibility and Public Finance Management. 

He called on OrderPaper and other Civil Society Organizations to collaborate with FRC to actualize a better Nigeria and believe that in a time like this, our country needs to have such a conversation until we get it right.

He urged the Nigerians to have confidence in the policies of the government and that sometimes some of these policies take time to deliver an economic impact.

The workshop which paper was titled: Nigeria’s Current Economic Crises and the Need for Fiscal Reform was delivered by Professor Uche Uwaleke, Director, Institute of Capital Markets, Nasarawa State University, Keffi.

 

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