Cross River plays host to Fiscal Responsibility Commission, FRC in Calabar

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The presidency has organised an awareness and sensitisation programme/workshop on transparency and accountability NEGROIDHAVEN can report.

The awareness campaign which is themed ‘Sustaining the Gains of Fiscal Transparency & Accountability in States’, holding in Calabar the Cross River state capital metropolis is organised by the Fiscal Responsibility Commission. The event which held between 21st and 23rd November is facilitated by Order Paper.

This event which amongst other things aimed at building capacity of the participants has in its line up technical sessions in the first and second days as well as a development and adoption of communiqué session in the third day.

Akwa Ibom glows resplendently at the ongoing Awareness & Sensitisation Programme/Workshop on Transparency & Accountability organised by the Fiscal Responsibility Commission holding in Calabar as thru have met unprecedented compliance with fiscal transparency, accountability and prudence

In his opening remark the Executive Chair of the Commission applauded Cross River for its degree of compliance on fiscal responsibility. Particularly, Victor Muruako, Esq., the FSC Chair observed that ‘More amazing is the fact that the improvement in transparency has even reached the Local Government level such that some states like our host state, Cross River, have published the 2021 Audited Financial Statements of all their Local Governments. It is almost miraculous. But then, so is the power of fiscal coordination.’

However, Muruako noted that though it took what he referred to as push factors to aide state make some gains fiscally speaking, it will take pull factors from the citizenry to sustain the gains already made.

In his words he argued that ‘the subnational engagements of the Fiscal Responsibility Commission, as well as the interventions of SFTAS and the FSP (Fiscal Sustainability Programme) have registered good result in recent years. We identify these interventions, incidentally, as ‘push factors’ – in the sense that State Governments are actually being pushed to adopt key transparency, accountability and good governance measures. The sustainability of the results recorded so far will largely come from ‘pull factors’ – the citizens.’

In this regard, the FRC boss who was represented by Muhammed Ahmed Zalaini the FRC Director for Human Resource and Administration explained that should a sufficient dose of quality requests calling for prudence, transparency, accountability and citizen participation are made by the citizenry it will inspire a supply from State Governments which will assuage their hunger and create further hunger for updates, a situation which will in turn lead to a spiral of demand and supply of openness and involvement creating an informed citizenry, an enlightened elite and a relatively stable macroeconomy.

In his paper titled: Strengthening Fiscal Management at the State Level through Fiscal Responsibility Laws, Chukwemuemeka Abana Esq., the head of legal, investigation and enforcement of the FRC informed that fiscal responsibility in the context of the country Nigeria connotes the obligation of government to manage public resources in a manner that responds to the aspirations of the citizenry. ‘It is about prudence, reducing waste and corruption’ he said.

On his part, Sule Unekwuojo the head of accounts and finance of the Commission explained that fiscal transparency hinged on four pillars, namely, fiscal reporting, forecasting/ budgeting, risk analysis/management, and revenue management. He further noted that fiscal accountability bothered on answerability and enforcement. For him and in this regard, a public institution(s) or person(s) must be answerable to the public it serves.

In the course of this workshop, both organisers and participants agreed that the Fiscal Responsibility Act 2007 which established the commission (FRC) was in dire need for amendment as the FRC was lacking in respect of certain enforceable powers necessary for realising its constitutional objectives. The FRC informed that an amendment process had already been initiated before the 9th national assembly (NASS).

Present at the event were members of the civil society organisation community, the media, Cross River budget office, Department of Debt Management, Office of the Auditor General etc.

 

EDITORIAL

This story amongst others are reviewed on Sparkling 92.3FM http://mixlr.com/sparkling923fm–2 and FAD 93.1. Again, opinions expressed on NegroidHaven are exclusively the author’s not NH’s.