By Chimezie Godfrey
The Director-General of the National Orientation Agency (NOA), Dr. Garba Abari, has expressed the willingness of his Agency to collaborate with the Fiscal Responsibility Commission (FRC) to disseminate prudence and fiscal responsibility in governance to the grassroots through sensitization and advocacy in various Nigerian languages.
He stressed the need for government to strengthen the Commission at this crucial time when the country is faced with revenue crisis and the impact of the general economic meltdown on nations, institutions, and governance processes are evident globally.
He further stated that the insurgency in the North East and Covid-19 pandemic has posed enough challenges to the Federal Government and this calls for a lot of reforms in all sectors in line with the Fiscal Responsibility Act (FRA), 2007.
He pledged the inclusion of the FRC to the NOA Anti-Corruption Situation Room which has a mandate to track constituency projects by members of the National Assembly to ensure adherence to the Fiscal Responsibility Act, FRA, 2007.
While thanking the Chairman for taking a good step to pay a courtesy call on NOA, Dr. Abari assured the Commission that all areas of possible agreement and collaboration will be looked into and actions will be taken to implement key resolutions agreed upon.
In his speech, Barr. Muruako espoused that the Commission could have done a lot more if the Act establishing it had not contained certain lacuna, including lack of punishment for offences which many agencies of government have unfortunately taken advantage of to deny Government monies due to it from Operating Surpluses.
Barr. Muruako further made it known that the Commission did not fold its arms in the light of the weakness in the Act and that to ameliorate the situation, the Commission developed a working arrangement with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) which has aided remittance of Operating Surplus to the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF) of the Federal Government.
He praised the Senate for conducting a public hearing on the Bill for the Amendment of Fiscal Responsibility Act, 2007.
He called on the NOA to deploy its mandate to win the hearts of the citizens towards understanding and implementing transparency, accountability and other fiscal responsibility policies and programmes in public finance management across the three tiers of government.