FRC BOSS VISITS SPORTS MINISTER, UNFOLDS ACHIEVEMENTS.
… Stresses the need to amend FRA 2007 Act to provide sanctions for infractions…
The Chairman, Fiscal Responsibility Commission, Victor Muruako, Esq led a delegation of the Management of the Commission to a courtesy visit to the Honourable Minister of Sports, Honourable John Owan Enor in his office at the Stadium Complex, Abuja today.
Barr. Muruako described the Honourable Minister as a friend of the Commission and having considered he informed the Minister that the Commission has continued to perform its duties under the FRA, 2007 despite all challenges, particularly about the need to amend the Act to provide sanctions for infractions.
FRC Boss said that the major activity of the Commission is Revenue monitoring through which the Commission collates, processes and monitors remittances of the Federal Government of Nigeria’s Independent revenue.
According to Barrister Muruako, it is a process of strategic focus on ensuring that more revenues accruing to the FGN are promptly remitted to the treasury. The Commission through this Unit’s activities confirms the authenticity of treasury receipts issued for remittances while ensuring the achievement of revenue targets. It is due to rigorous revenue monitoring through the Unit that responds to the requests for submission of Audited Financial Statements from where the liabilities are computed and therefore Revenue returns have reasonably improved over the years.
Muruako said, that in 2020, Operating Surplus and IGR accrued to FGN were N213,786,633, 693 and N319, 116, 957, 622 respectively, summing up to N532, 903, 591, 315. In 2021, the total came to a whooping sum of N1, 250, 592, 440, 514 broken into an Operating Surplus of Hundred and thirty-nine Million, six hundred and fifty-six thousand, nine hundred and seventy-two naira only and IGR of N937, 252, 783, 832 while as at 2022, the total collection was N1,362, 589,906,926 comprising of N181, 226, 151, 020 as Operating Surplus and N1, 181, 363, 755, 896 as Ministries, Directorates and Agencies IGR.
He mentioned other activities of the Commission like the Zonal Sensitization programme which was carried out in four geo-political zones and the participants were drawn from critical stakeholders from states including the Commissioners of Finance, Commissioners of Economic Planning and Budget, Debt Management Directorates of the states, State Fiscal Responsibility Commission/Agencies, critical Civil Society Organizations in the States, Banks and Financial Institutions.
The programme, he said was aimed at creating awareness about the activities of the Commission and expanding the frontiers of fiscal responsibility, transparency and accountability and sustainability programme (SFTAS) at sub-national levels of the government in Nigeria.
He briefed the Minister on their collaboration with the Finance Committee in the Ninth Assembly, which was ably led by the current Committee Chairman, Rt. Honourable James Faleke in which the Committee meticulously obligated Government Owned Enterprises (GOEs) and indeed all agencies to remit different categories of revenue including Operating Surplus and IGR. He said that the exercise ran for over 13 months and the result was a huge success in both remittances of Operating Surplus and Independent generated revenue by all government agencies as reported in their revenue monitoring activities. He also informed the Honourable Minister that the tenth Assembly has also adopted that approach as collaboration is already ongoing.
Barrister Muruako also highlighted other activities of the Commission like project verification, Technical Assistance to the State, stakeholder dialogue on the implementation of Section 45 of FRA, 2007, Desk Monitoring Exercise, and Analysis of Micro-economic and fiscal issues.
Barrister Muruako drew the attention of the Minister to the fact that the FRA, 2007 introduced a Rule and policy-based budgeting process which ensures citizen participation, improved transparency, budget comprehensiveness and greater credibility. He said that budget implementation is now being monitored evaluated and reported quarterly as required by the Act considering that in the past, the budgeting process was not based on any overarching strategy or framework, and Executive oversight was disaggregated and dysfunctional. MDAs are now more accountable through the publication of their Annual Financial Statements.
Barrister Muruako concluded by informing the Honourable Minister that the staff of the Commission has effectively imbibed the spirit of sports in the Commission through its Monthly Health Walk which comes up every third Saturday of every month. He used the opportunity to invite the Honourable Minister of Sports as a guest to the monthly fitness event for February 2024.
In his response, the Honourable Minister of Sports, Honourable John Owa Enor appreciated the Commission for introducing sports activities in the Commission.
He also described the Fiscal Responsibility Act, of 2007 as his baby because he was the Chairman of, House Committee of Finance when the Act was passed into and signed law.
He assured the guests that being a minister of Sports does not stop him from giving the desired support to the Commission and he described the Chairman, Victor Muruako Esq as a dogged fighter when it comes to the issue of transparency and accountability in public finance.
He expressed his happiness over the Commission’s efforts in providing technical assistance to states’ Fiscal Responsibility Commission/ Agencies.
He cited FRA as a ‘bible’ and if only we could use it properly, everything would fall in line. He acknowledged the fact that the FRA, 2007 needs to be amended to accommodate punishment for offenders.
He commended the leadership style of the Executive Chairmen who has been using everything around him to effect the desired change that the country needs through his good work in Fiscal Responsibility Commission.
He assured him of support from his Ministry.
He assured the FRC boss of support from the Sports Ministry.