The Growth Initiatives for Fiscal Transparency (GIFT Nigeria) has urged members of the 9th National Assembly to speedily pass the Fiscal Responsibility Act (FRA) amendment bill pending before it to block revenue leakages and engender transparency in public finance management in the country.
GIFT Nigeria is a cluster of five organisations comprising Order Paper Nigeria, Centre for Transparency Advocacy, Hip City Innovative Centre, Clice Foundation and Nigeria Institute of Quantity Surveyors, which has the focus of advocating improvement in fiscal transparency and good governance in the petroleum sector.
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Speaking in Abuja yesterday at a media briefing on its activities in the last five months, the executive director of Order Paper Nigeria, Oke Epia, said Nigeria was in a ‘dire fiscal straight’ with rising debts, saying the quick passage and assent to the FRA amendment would ensure transparency and accountability in remittances to the federal coffers by revenue generating agencies.
He said one of the baseline studies done by the organisation showed that 19 revenue generating agencies of the federal government performed below average in their remittances to the national treasury, adding that passing the pending amendment to the FRA would give the Fiscal Responsibility Commission the powers to sanction defaulting agencies in the areas of remittances to engender accountability and transparency in public finance management.
Epia said the GIFT Nigeria project had, through its baseline study, pointed out some gaps in the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) that needed to be bridged to ensure transparency and accountability in the energy sector.
He urged Nigerian voters to use the passage of the FRA amendment bill by members of the 9th National Assembly as a pre-condition for voting in the 2023 elections.