FG

Nigerians free to question MDAs on public spending, says FRC

To engender transparency and accountability in public spending, the Fiscal Responsibility Commission (FRC) has called on Nigerians to challenge Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) on how they utilize public funds.

Chairman of Fiscal Responsibility Commission, Barrister Victor Muruako made this disclosure in Abuja when he visited the Country Director of the German Society for International Corporation, GIZ, Ina Hommers in her office.

Barrister Muruako revealed that the Commission has been encouraging citizen enforcement of the FRC Act by encouraging citizens to take advantage of Section 51 of Fiscal Responsibility Act, 2007.

According to the Act, “a person shall have the legal capacity to enforce the provision of this Act by obtaining prerogative orders or other remedies at the Federal High Court, without having to show any special or particular interest.”

What this means is that “citizens have the right to ask questions on how public funds are used for any project. They have the right to know the processes taken in the execution of government projects to ensure value for money (promote transparency).”

To this end, the FRC, the Chairman said; “has been strategically raising awareness on the need for fiscal responsibility across tiers of government.”

Barrister Muruako noted that now that the Ministry of Finance regularly publishes the release of funds to agencies of Government as well as the timeline for the auditing of the Federal Government account and the accounts of Ministries, Departments, and Agencies of Government, “there is regular monitoring and evaluation of the annual budget to ensure proper and full implementation.”

In addition, the Commission has trained and sensitized Civil Society Organizations to interface with federal and subnational governments on issues of transparency, accountability and tracking of implementation of federal projects.

In her response, the Country Director of GIZ, Ina Hommers appreciated the Chairman for his visit and expressed her Society’s positive disposition to support the Commission to actualize its mandate.

The two Organizations agreed to explore specific areas and formats of collaborations in order to support each other’s missions.