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2009-07-02:CBN urged to enforce compliance with fiscal responsibility

Written by Sunday Williams

The Central Bank of Nigeria has been urged to use banking supervision to ensure that Commercial Banks comply with the Fiscal Responsibility Act (FRA) in their lending to federal, state and local governments.

This was contained in a communiqué issued at the end of a two-day capacity-building workshop on Fiscal Responsibility Act (FRA) in Kaduna organised by the Centre for Social Justice (CSJ) with the support of the Ford Foundation office for West Africa.

The communiqué which was signed by the Lead Director of Centre for Social Justice, Eze, observed that fiscal responsibility covers the entire life of fiscal policies and processes from programming, planning and budgeting.

It said, “The FRA is premised on the need for enhanced transparency, accountability, and popular participation of citizens in the fiscal operations of Government. Specifically section 48 of the Act indicates the clear intendment of the FRA thus.”

It said the stakeholders should demand enhanced transparency, accountability and popular participation from the fiscal authorities adding that if entreaties fail to yield results, resort should be made to the provisions of section 51 for the enforcement of rights and duties.

The forum urged the Fiscal Responsibility Commission to take deliberate, targeted and strategic steps aimed at ensuring full implementation of the FRA by all stakeholders.

It added that as a minimum, the commission should compel the timely preparation and approval of Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEFs), publication of gazetted MTEFs, Budget Disbursement Schedule, Budget Implementation Reports and ensure that borrowing by all tiers of government is in accordance with the law.

It blamed the Minister of Finance and the Budget Office for failing to send the MTEF for the consideration and endorsement of the Federal Executive Council by the end of the second quarter, saying is a breach of the FRA.The Central Bank of Nigeria has been urged to use banking supervision to ensure that Commercial Banks comply with the Fiscal Responsibility Act (FRA) in their lending to federal, state and local governments.

This was contained in a communiqué issued at the end of a two-day capacity-building workshop on Fiscal Responsibility Act (FRA) in Kaduna organised by the Centre for Social Justice (CSJ) with the support of the Ford Foundation office for West Africa.

The communiqué which was signed by the Lead Director of Centre for Social Justice, Eze, observed that fiscal responsibility covers the entire life of fiscal policies and processes from programming, planning and budgeting.

It said, “The FRA is premised on the need for enhanced transparency, accountability, and popular participation of citizens in the fiscal operations of Government. Specifically section 48 of the Act indicates the clear intendment of the FRA thus.”

It said the stakeholders should demand enhanced transparency, accountability and popular participation from the fiscal authorities adding that if entreaties fail to yield results, resort should be made to the provisions of section 51 for the enforcement of rights and duties.

The forum urged the Fiscal Responsibility Commission to take deliberate, targeted and strategic steps aimed at ensuring full implementation of the FRA by all stakeholders.

It added that as a minimum, the commission should compel the timely preparation and approval of Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEFs), publication of gazetted MTEFs, Budget Disbursement Schedule, Budget Implementation Reports and ensure that borrowing by all tiers of government is in accordance with the law.

It blamed the Minister of Finance and the Budget Office for failing to send the MTEF for the consideration and endorsement of the Federal Executive Council by the end of the second quarter, saying is a breach of the FRA.

Source:Daily Trust

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