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Senate Is Considering Changing the Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2007




The Senate, on Monday, passed a resolution to amend the Fiscal Responsibility Act (FRA) 2007, sixteen years after its enactment.

The Chairman, Senate Committee on Finance, Senator Sani Musa, stated this during the ongoing 2023 budget defence and 2024 budget presentation at the National Assembly Complex, Abuja.

According to him, the Fiscal Responsibility Commission (FRC) is one of the most critical agencies of government because its role is not just to monitor the fiscal policies but also to help generate what the monetary policies can achieve.

Musa said that by the grace of God, the Senate was going to work on the FRA, 2007 and look at those areas that could strengthen the Commission and also look at the area of human capital, saying: “There is no way we can have Fiscal Responsibility Act, 2007 and then we are worried every day about the huge debt burden we are experiencing in Nigeria.

He noted that “we have made a law, and we must abide by those laws because most sub-national governments are not supposed to go to any bank to collect any overdraft without clearance or proof of compliance from the Fiscal Responsibility Commission.

The lawmaker assured the Commission that the Senate was ready to create a better working environment for the Fiscal Responsibility Commission, pointing out that based on the input which the Commission has already started making at the National Assembly which is yielding positive results on revenue.

He said the Red Chamber was going to look into this at the Committee level and make a recommendation to the Senate, hoping that the Appropriations Committee would reason with them and review the budget of the Commission upward.

In his presentation, the Chairman of the Fiscal Responsibility Commission, Victor Muruako, appealed to the Senate Committee on Finance to continue supporting the Commission in Actualizing her mandate.

He placed more emphasis on adequate funding in the successful implementation of the Act. He therefore solicits the assistance of the Senate and expresses the willingness of the Commission to ensure higher remittances of revenue by the Ministries, Directorates and Agencies.

Muruako considered the proposal of Independent Revenue estimated to be three million Naira as an error and proposed a further increase to the sum of twenty million Naira, expressing optimism that this was attainable, hence their proposal should be adjusted.

According to the Chairman, in 2022, a total of N1.3 trillion comprising N181 billion as Operating Surplus and N1.1 trillion as internally generated revenue was tracked and facilitated by the Commission.

He reported that the figure had been improved upon in 2023 as of October 2023, saying “We already have N1.66 trillion, with a target to hit N2 trillion by December 2023.”

The FRC boss assured the Senate Committee that the Commission could fund her budget if the government could give the desired support.

Others who took part in the budget defence include the Minister of Finance Wale Edun, and the Accountant General of the Federation, Oluwatoyin Sakirat Madein.

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