Government agencies pocketing internally-generated funds, says Fiscal Commission

Federal Secretariat Abuja
FILE PHOTO: Federal secretariat

The Fiscal Responsibility Commission, FRC, on Thursday accused revenue generating Ministries, Departments and Agencies, MDAs, of not remitting to government coffers revenue surpluses realized from their operations.

Acting Chairman of the Commission, Victor Muruako, who made the accusation also attributed the low compliance level to its regulations by the relevant government agencies to the proposed scrapping of the Commission by the Federal Government.

The Presidential Committee on the Rationalization and Restructuring of the Civil Service led by the former Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Steven Oronsaye, recommended the merger or scrapping of 321 out of the 541 federal parastatals, Commissions and agencies of government.

A White Paper on the Committee’s Report accepted the recommendation that the FRC be scrapped alongside 220 other agencies.

According to the Chairman, revenue-generating MDAs have in recent times been reluctant in remitting the mandatory 70 per cent of their operating surpluses to the Consolidated Revenue Fund coordinated by the Commission.

He said the slow response of the revenue generating agencies in the remittance of the operating surpluses was borne out of their fear that the Commission would soon be scrapped.

“In fact, what MDAs collect as operating surplus for the Federal Government is going down because their officials think that we are going to be scrapped,’’ he said.

Out of the 36 states of the federation, Mr. Muruako said only 15 states have so far domesticated the FRC law in their domains.

He stressed the need for state governments to domesticate the law in order to ensure accountability and proper monitoring of public funds.

Of the 15 states that have so far adopted the FRC Act, he said only nine states have set up Fiscal Responsibility Commission, while the rest were still at different stages of adopting of the law.

He traced the bottleneck to the process of adopting the law at state level to institutional problems, apart from infrastructural challenges, adding that the fact that the states would have to create a Commission and employ competent staff was a challenge for some of them.

The Chairman identified funding as another major constraint against the adoption of the law in some states, promising that the Commission would encourage states to adopt the law to ensure good fiscal practice and prudent management of government funds.

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