Victor Muruako, the Chairman, Fiscal Responsibility Commission, says fiscal indiscipline in all spheres of governance promotes poverty.
He said this on Friday in Abuja at the close of a five-day study visit, which began on Monday, by members of the Benue State FRC.
Muruako, who was represented by Chris Uwadoka, Special Assistant to the Chairman, said Nigeria was at a point where it must gather all that it could to prevent every revenue leakage.
He said: “That is why there is this new push for accountability, transparency and sustainability, generally things you call fiscal responsibility.
“So it is a worthwhile thing and this is the right time for it, there is no wrong time for it but no better time than now.”
Muruako said the commission was recording successes in its drive for fiscal prudence.
He said through the commission’s activities regarding revenue identification and generation, it had caused institutions of government to send the appropriate part to the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Federal Government.
On the study visit by Benue State FRC, Muruako commended the legislature for enacting the Fiscal Responsibility Act in the state and also commended the governor for establishing the commission.
He, however, charged the members to put to good use all they learned and ensure that the state was fiscally prudent especially with borrowed funds.
Murako said: “There are states that have enacted the Act, but found it difficult to set up a commission, but they have and also sent the members of that commission for training, so we are excited that they are here.
“We have made available to them our repertoire of knowledge and contacts because we know that state and local governments constitute an important part of the macro economy of Nigeria.
“They are the places where the country’s Gross Domestic Product is actually generated and they also have a considerable contribution to the public expenditures in Nigeria.”
Igyuse Yahuza, the Chairman of Benue State FRC, said the learning experience had been tremendous and it would help prepare better to serve the state.
Yahuza said: “The experience and the exposure from the visit will be an immense contribution to empower us and enlighten us on the way forward, as we go back to the state.
“Look at the law establishing the FRC at the state vis-a-vis the federal law, it is really almost the same so the Benue State Government decided to domesticate the law to enable us operate it at the state level.”
Yahuza commended the FRC for not only teaching them the basics of fiscal responsibility, but also ensuring that they got trained by other anti-corruption agencies of the government.
Usa-Adi Frank, the Permanent Secretary, Benue State Ministry of Finance and also a member of the state FRC, said the state decided to key into the programme not to be run down by corruption.
Frank said there were lots of laws which states had established to ensure that everything was done according to the rules, but people were not sensitised enough to key in and follow them.
He said: “We encourage other states to come and learn from you so that the states are in such a way that they do not go out of regulations and even do more.
“If you look at the laws of the FRC at the federal level here, there are no punishments for offenders, but we went ahead to ensure that there is punishment for whoever goes out of line.”
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the FRC was established by the FRA to provide for prudent management of the nation’s resources.