By Dorcas Jonah
The Fiscal Responsibility Commission (FRC) has pledged to partner with the Society of Project Management and Development Professional to curtail waste in the execution of Federal Government projects.
The Chairman of the commission, Mr Victor Muruako, said this when a delegation from the Society led by its registrar, Mr Ayodele Edwards, visited him on Wednesday in Abuja.
According to him, the Society came on a visit as one of the stakeholders of FRC that could be looked up to for partnership.
“We are counting on them because they have been of help to us, they have been training our staff on project management, particularly as part of our mandate is fiscal verification of the Federal Government’s capital projects.
“We have a role because from the conception of any project, there is a need for proper planning, most challenges of our abandoned projects in Nigeria can be traced to improper planning.
“We are going to work with the society to come up with a template that will ensure that the commission is involved from the planning stage of every Federal Government’s project.
“This is because going to verify project when it has already been concise and execution is ongoing, there is little or nothing that we can do.
“We want to have a plan that before a project is conceived, the commission must be involved from the planning stage to reduce waste, the chairman said.
Muruako said that Nigeria was working to be considered for debt relief adding the President Muhammadu Buhari and his team had worked tirelessly to exist recession.
He said borrowing was not a bad thing when a country doesn’t have sufficient to cover its needs.
“This is not the best of time for world economic and Nigeria is not an exception, because of the obvious reason of the pandemic, a lot of economic are on their knees.
“The president and his team worked very hard for Nigeria to exist recession, where you don’t have sufficient for your need, you borrowed to make up.
“Borrowing is not bad depending on the condition and what you are borrowing for. Yes we borrowed and still borrowing but it is for infrastructure,” he said.
According to him, as a developing economy, there is the need for some developed economies to see the need to consider the issue of debt relief, for Nigeria.
“But for us to qualify for such consideration, I think the discussion should be, what we are borrowing for, how are we managing what we have borrowed.
“What is the prospect that when we get this opportunity again just as we had, between 2003 and 2007.
“What is the assurance that we are going to maximize the opportunity and used it for the right things?
“That is where FRC comes in; we have a role to play. Ours is to ensure proper use, accountability, transparency, in public finance management
“It is expected that if you are looking forward to any consideration along this line, you must have been transparent in the management of your resources.
“For us as FRC, we must ensure that every kobo of our nation is accounted for and properly managed, that is where our role comes in,’’ he said.
Earlier, the registrar of the society, Edwards said the visit was to felicitate one of their own, Muruako on his appointment as the chairman of FRC.
“Considering the strategic role of the commission in ensuring fiscal discipline and maximised value from the nation’s earned resources, it is wise that a competent hand is deployed with a sound understanding of effective project management.
“It is at this point, we commend President Buhari for appointing one of our own, who has demonstrated unparallel commitment to institutionalize the operation of FRC,’’ he said.
Edwards said that the visit was to support the effort of the chairman of the commission considering its strategic importance in ensuring fiscal discipline.
He noted that a lot of projects were abandoned because of poor planning which needs to be addressed.
“We are here to work out collaborations to ensure that more agents of government are properly enlightened on the need to practice effective planning, execution and monitoring of projects.
“There is a lot of waste that goes on when projects are not effectively planned, monitored and executed. This is why we are partnering with the FRC.
“So that why they go out for the verification exercise, we want to see how to guide them through how they can get the best valve and also find ways to make input at the planning stage of all Federal Government projects,’’ he said. (NAN)