The Chairman of Fiscal Responsibility Commission has expressed his appreciation to the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Dr Zainab Ahmed, for a recent support the Commission received from the International Monetary Fund, IMF, in the area of capacity development.
A statement issued by the Commission’s Head of Strategic Communications, Bede Anyanwu stated that following the desire of the Minister of Finance, Dr Zainab Ahmed, to strengthen the FRC for its important roles in public finance management, the IMF deployed a Mission to the Commission, led by Sybi Hida, a Senior Economist in the Fiscal Affairs Department of the IMF in Washington DC. The Mission spent two weeks with Management and technical staff of the Commission, conducting an intensive programme on establishing a Fiscal Monitoring Framework.
Delighted at the significance and content of the programme, the Chairman of Fiscal Responsibility Commission, Victor Muruako said of the IMF support, “We have come to the conclusion that amongst all manpower development support and interventions that the Commission has enjoyed since its establishment over a decade ago, this IMF Mission is certainly the most impactful, combining elements of strategy meetings, organizational self-discovery sessions, training and ecosystem development. This is, literally speaking, the template which the Commission never had at its inception.”
He recalled that, at inception, the Commission was handed a novel mandate without corresponding templates, guidelines, handover notes or depth of access to requisite manpower development. Hence, the staff, being pioneers in the fiscal responsibility monitoring and enforcement space, found themselves doing the work of both visionaries and operators. “Oftentimes,” he added, “the scenario looked like we were building an airplane while at the same time, flying it. Thank God, we have been successful at both.”
Muruako who described the Commission as one that has very important roles in supporting fiscal policy sustainability and strengthening public finance management in Nigeria affirmed that it is meeting all stakeholder expectations in this regard.
Reflecting on the phases that the Commission has passed over the years, the FRC Chairman noted that the Fiscal Responsibility Commission has been very well received by citizens and the Federal Government alike since its establishment over a decade ago.
He posited that the use of legislation to moderate the behavior of fiscal agents and replace discretionary powers with fiscal rules, ceilings and timelines is reckoned in all decent circles as most proper for a fiscal environment that has suffered considerable abuse.