Capacity strengthening on fiscal reforms able to reposition our country – Deputy Speaker Kalu

David OputahFebruary 27, 20244 min

“It is imperative to recognize the effects that fiscal reforms can have on our nation. Our collective commitment to encouraging transparency fostering accountability, and responsible governance is why we are here today.”

Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rep. Benjamin Kalu (APC, Abia) has stressed the need for lawmakers to consistently engage in capacity development concerning fiscal reforms and debt management to be abreast with global best practices to reposition the country’s financial sector.

Rep. Kalu made this known on Monday in Abuja at a capacity-building workshop designed for members of the National Assembly that aims to address aspects of financial prudence, debt management, and fiscal reforms essential to alleviating current economic hardships.

OrderPaper Advocacy Initiative, Nigeria’s foremost independent parliamentary monitoring organisation and policy think tank that bridges the gap between people and parliament, hosted the capacity-strengthening workshop on fiscal responsibility and public finance management.

Speaking at the workshop, Rep. Kalu noted the importance of fiscal reforms to Nigeria for transparency and accountability as he reiterated the significance of the workshop.

“Monitoring this shows that we are also partners who are interested in making sure that workshops like these can improve our nation. The reason is obvious, why we need to do this in line with the global best practices as it addresses fiscal reforms.

“It is our collective commitment to encouraging transparency fostering accountability, and responsible governance, which is why we are here today, it is imperative to recognize the effects that fiscal reforms can have on our nation.”

The Deputy Speaker urged participants to engage meaningfully in the capacity-building exercise adding that citizens’ demand for accountability in financial management is welcomed.

“It is paramount that citizens’ demand for accountability and good financial management is on the right track, and I encourage each of you to actively participate, exchange ideas and perspectives to the prospective discussion, let us remain steadfast in our commitment to driving change and advancing the cause of fiscal reforms. together we can be more transparent, more accountable to our nation.”

On his part, the Executive Director of OrderPaper, Mr Oke Epia, in his welcome address at the event, stated that the workshop on public finance management and growth initiative for fiscal transparency reflects the commitment to fostering informed and productive discourse around the legislature and shaping evidence-based policies for the benefit of citizens.

“OrderPaper has been implementing the Growth Initiatives for Fiscal Transparency (GIFT) as a series of activities to catalyse reforms anchored heavily on amending the Fiscal Responsibility Act (FRA), 2007, to plug loopholes that have allowed waste of public funds, opacity, and corruption to thrive.

“This capacity-strengthening workshop builds on past engagements, including roundtables with civil society and media, sub-national dialogues, and public awareness on radio and social media.

“We all know that Nigeria is currently facing some economic challenges that cannot be separated from our choices on fiscal responsibility and management of public finance. The inexorable conclusion is that there is a need for urgent fiscal reforms. This is why we have focused on strengthening the capacity of legislators for effective oversight of Nigeria’s Public Finance Management through this workshop.”

Mr Epia thanked the funders for their immense support towards the capacity-building workshop.

“On behalf of the OrderPaper team, permit me to express immense appreciation to our funder of the GIFT Project – the United States Agency for International Development (USAID); Palladium International for the technical support; the Fiscal Responsibility Commission (FRC) for solidly buying into the project; and members of the GIFT cluster – Centre for Transparency Advocacy (CTA), HipCity Innovation Centre, CLICE Foundation and AdvoKC.”

David Oputah

Oputah David M is a Bloomberg-trained Journalist with a diversified experience in online journalism and newsroom management. He is a 2023 MTN Media Innovation fellow!

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