By Temitope Ponle
The Fiscal Responsibility Commission (FRC) has sought the support of the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) to help retrieve and further block loopholes in public finance management.
According to a statement from the commission signed by Head of Communications, Mr Bede Anyanwu on Wednesday, the decision was part of the outcomes of a courtesy call on the ICPC on Tuesday.
Chairman of the FRC, Mr Victor Muruako said the commission was statutorily charged with the mandate to monitor the implementation of the Fiscal Responsibility Act (FRA), 2007.
Muruako said the FRC is “an institutional response to the quest for a regime of prudent, ethical and efficient management of public finances at all tiers of the government in Nigeria.
“In order to ensure that the FRA was adhered to, the Commission had to devise alternative strategies to nudge the MDAs to discharge their functions through stakeholders’ interactions and bilateral engagements geared towards increasing awareness and understanding the requirements of the FRA, 2007.
“Corrupt officials cart away billions of Naira in different guises through government funds under their care. We cannot afford to continue to watch this situation continue.”
The commissioner revealed that the FRC had caused over N1.75 trillion to be remitted to the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF) in the last 11 years.
He, however, said that “agencies of government are in deficit of over N1 trillion”, emphasising the need for a closer working relationship with the ICPC.
He acknowledged that the commission had enjoyed a robust relationship with the ICPC which “must now be rejigged for better results against the obvious over bearing influence of the twin evils of inefficiency and corruption.”
The FRC chairman also sought the support of the ICPC in capacity-building and training of staff of the commission.
In his response, the Chairman of the ICPC, Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye (SAN), identified assets recovery and capital projects tracking as areas of immediate cooperation.
Owasanoye noted that the mandates of both organisations made it expedient to work together to eliminate impunity and corruption in public office.
“We are quite happy to collaborate with the FRC in the areas of assets recovery and capital projects tracking and to leverage on our enforcement powers to achieve the mandates of our agencies,” he said.
He also pledged the support of the ICPC in manpower development and training for staff of the FRC, stressing that capacity-building was very important towards the realisation of the objectives of anti-corruption agencies of government.
He thanked the FRC chairman for the visit and congratulated him on the nomination and senate confirmation of his appointment. (NAN)