The National Orientation Agency (NOA) has appealed to the Fiscal Responsibility Commission (FRC) to join the network of government and civil society organisations pushing for the eradication of corruption in Nigeria in view of its wide mandate to monitor yearly budget implementation at both the federal and state levels.

The Director General of NOA, Dr. Garba Abari who received the management of the FRC in his office in Abuja yesterday listed the inter agency collaborations working to promote accountability and openness in government business to include the Open Government Partnership (OGP) and the Anti-Corruption situation room which has been in operation for many years.

According to him, these two platforms among others will fill the gap created by non-provision of punishments for offenses stipulated by the Fiscal Responsibility Act. The FRC monitors budget implementation in MDAs to avoid mismangement of public funds and ensures that yearly budget provisions are derived from the Mid Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) prepared by the Ministry of Finance for a three year tenure and approved by the National Assembly.

Underscoring the importance of fiscal savings to curb public sector borrowing, Abari said the Commission should improve its regulation of borrowing by sub-national governments and institutions to make sure that funds are utilised for the purpose they were given.

The Chairman of the Commission, Victor Muruako who gave a run down of the achievment of the Commission since its establsihment in 2007 said it has improved domestic revenue mobilisation to the tune of 2.15 trillion naira as payement of operating surplus by government corporations.

In his words: “These are funds that would otherwise have been left at the discretion of of the managers of these MDAs. Sadly many MDAs still persist in defaulting and practically keeping money away from the Federal Government’s reach to fund its budget. Our records indicate that over 1.2 trillion naira is still in the hands of defaulting MDAs. These figures are confirmed from our analysis of the annual audited financial reports submitted to our Commission by the concerned agencies”

The Commission requested support of the NOA in making its work citizens driven to achieve better mobilisation of funds, especially now that government creativity is required to fund yearly budgets. “We recognise that your mandate has to do with winning the hearts of citizens towards understanding and implementing government policies and programmes.” He said.

Paul Odenyi

Assistant Director, Press

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