A framework for fiscal monitoring has been established by the Fiscal Responsibility Commission (FRC), with assistance from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), as a soft tool to improve the effectiveness of its oversight.
The Commission was established 15 years ago, and now it has the necessary infrastructure. In the meanwhile, its staff performed supervision duties using a few basic templates.
According to a statement made by Bede Anyanwu, head of strategic communications, the crucial infrastructure was set up with Zainab Ahmed, minister of financepermission. ,’s
After two weeks of rigorous IMF training and interaction with the management and senior technical employees of the FRC, the setup was implemented. Sybi Hida, a senior economist in the IMF’s Fiscal Affairs Department, served as the mission’s leader.
Victor Muruako, Chairman of the Fiscal Responsibility Commission, expressed his delight at the importance and scope of the training and the framework used, saying: “We have concluded that among all manpower development support and interventions that the Commission has benefited from since its establishment more than ten years ago, this IMF mission is unquestionably the most impactful, combining elements of strategy meetings, organizational self-discovery sessions, training, and ecosystem development.”
“This is, essentially, the blueprint that the Commission never had when it was established.” When the Commission was first established, Muruako said, it was given a brand-new mandate without any accompanying templates, guidelines, handover notes, or extensive access to the necessary human development.
Due to their inexperience in the field of fiscal responsibility monitoring and enforcement, the pioneer staff was forced to perform the roles of both visionaries and operators.
“Often times,” the chairman said, “the scenario looked like we were building an airplane, while at the same time, flying it. Thank God, we have been successful at both.”
Muruako bemoaned the fact that despite the Commission’s many accomplishments, certain stakeholders still seem to be having trouble figuring out where and how to fit the Commission into the ecosystem of public financial management.
He reaffirmed that FRC is a fiscal reform organization that had to work hard and with integrity to cut through the mist and carry out its mandate, which is distinct and does not duplicate the duties of other organizations as implied in the Orosanye Panel report.
The FRC Chairman remarked that the Commission has been well received by both the public and the federal government since its founding as he thought back on the stages it has gone through over the years. He asserted that for a fiscal environment that has seen significant misuse, like Nigeria’s, the employment of law to control the behavior of fiscal agents and replace discretionary powers with fiscal norms, ceilings, and timetables is most appropriate.
He pleaded with the National Assembly to complete the Fiscal Responsibility Act modification, which underwent a public hearing in the Senate more than a year ago, because it would better position the Commission to support sustainable fiscal policy and streamline public finance management in Nigeria.
The recent assistance provided to the FRC by the IMF is the second mission to the Commission this year alone; the first was a one-month training program for senior staff members of the FRC that was virtually given by the IMF’s AFRITAC II. The capacity-building initiative served as the basis for the most recent intervention.