As the ripple effects of the abuse of the Ways and Means, W/M advances by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to the federal government, particularly, during the immediate past administration, continue, the Fiscal Responsibility Commission (FRC) is set for a stakeholder dialogue on how to implement sections of the Fiscal Responsibility Act, 2007 (FRA) relating to lending by banks to governments and public institutions in the federation.
The last President Muhammadu Buhari administration, in connivance with the former CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele abused the provisions of the policy to the extent that advances to the federal government then was over N20 trillion, a sad reminder that has further bloated the nation’s indeptedness.
The implication is the unacceptable level of higher funds earmarked for debt servicing at the expense of development and the provision of services that would have improved the lives of the citizens.
But, the FRC is an agency saddled with the task of promoting a transparent and accountable government financial management framework for Nigeria.
Its mandate includes ensuring that revenue-raising policies, resource allocation decisions and debt management decisions are undertaken in a prudent, transparent and timely fashion as provided for in the law.
In a statement made available to THISDAY, the FRC spokesman, Bede Anyanwu, said: “The Fiscal Responsibility Commission (FRC) has concluded preparations to hold a stakeholder dialogue on implementing sections of the Fiscal Responsibility Act that relate to lending by banks to governments and public institutions in the Federation.
“The event to be held in Lagos this weekend will bring together a diverse group of stakeholders including banking institutions, government representatives, economists, academics and experts in fiscal governance.”
The Fiscal Responsibility Act 2007 (FRA), which is Nigeria’s foremost legal framework for the promotion, monitoring and enforcement of fiscal discipline and accountability in the management of public finances, stipulates that lending by banks to governments or their agencies in contravention of certain provisions of the Act shall be unlawful.
According to Anyanwu, “The Commission aims at using the stakeholder dialogue to refresh the attention of stakeholders to this provision of the Act and to engender stakeholder agreement on ways to enhance compliance and thereby improve the nation’s debt management practices.”