The Chairman of the Fiscal Responsibility Commission, Chief Victor Muruako, has commended the two Governors of Sokoto and Kaduna State, Governor Aminu Waziri Tambual and Governor Nasir Ahmed El-Rufai, for setting up their states Fiscal Responsibility Commissions.
Muruako gave the charge during the opening of a five-day capacity-building session for the chairmen and members of the Sokoto and Kaduna States Fiscal Responsibility Commission, held in Abuja on Monday, a statement by FRC Head, Strategic Communications Directorate,Bede Ogueri Anyanwu, disclosed.
He mentioned that states like, Benue, Taraba, Niger, Gombe, Ebonyi, Adamawa, Yobe, Jigawa, Kebbi, Bauchi, Anambra, Abia, Cross Rivers, Delta, Ekiti, Kogi, Kwara, Osun, Bayelsa, Enugu, and Nasarawa have passed the Fiscal Responsibility Law.
He also urged other state governors to also follow suit and get Fiscal Responsibility Commissions for the sake of national economic growth and development.
Muruako said, “When macroeconomic management is mentioned, people tend to think of it as the sole responsibility of the Federal Government, with the Federal Minister of Finance as the arrowhead. While that is not altogether false, it needs to be seen and acknowledged that the collective fiscal activities of states and local governments outweigh those of the Federal Government.
“Hence, to work hard at controlling unemployment, inflation, security, transparency, accountability, sustainability, macroeconomic stability, etc without a commensurate commitment of states and local governments is like mopping the floor with the tap running”, he said.
He noted that the FRC was committed to partnering with states and local governments towards strengthening the fiscal responsibility ecosystem in Nigeria as a nation has one macro-economy and its components such as states and local governments, in the case of Nigeria, were indispensable in achieving positive outcomes in key indices of economic development.
According to the Chairman, Fiscal Responsibility Commission, an essential aspect of powers of the Commission is the monitoring of the borrowing and indebtedness of the Governments of the Federation which comprises the Federal, States and the Local Government Areas with the aim of ensuring the sustainability of debts of the Federal and Sub-national Government.
He further made reference to Section 41 and 44 of the Fiscal Responsibility Act, 2007 which provides the rules and the conditions for borrowing by any Government in the Country.
“As we continue to enforce the mandate of the Commission, the efforts of the Commission have become a major resource to the National Assembly in terms of ensuring compliance to extant laws of the Federation on revenue generation and compliance to preparation and presentation of audited statement of accounts by Government owned Enterprises,” Murako said.
In addition, FRC Boss said that the Commission helped to raise Independent revenue of the Federal Government of Nigeria from N532, 903, 591, 315. 29 in 2020 to N1, 250, 592, 440, 510.67 in 2021 being the highest on Independent revenue in over eight years.
He added that the exercise by the Sokoto and Kaduna Fiscal Responsibility Commissions was a product of the engagements of the FRC with the state government and other key stakeholders over the years.
The Chairman of the Sokoto State Fiscal Responsibility Agency (FRA), Alhaji Aliyu Muhammed, said they have come to FRC Abuja to rub minds and to borrow a leaf from their past experience so that when they get back to Sokoto, they will get the job done as expected.
He expressed the optimism that at the end of the programme, they will have something very tangible to take back home.
In his response the Chairman, Kaduna State Fiscal Responsibility Commission (FRC), Alhaji Murtala Dabo, commended the efforts of Chief Barrister Muruako and his officials, adding that his team was in Abuja to understudy the FRC.