Reps introduce amendment bill to fiscal responsibility law

Leah TwakiJune 6, 20246 min

The FRA 2024 bill has passed for first reading at the House of Representatives 

Fiscal Responsibility Act

The House of Representatives on Wednesday read and passed for the first reading the Fiscal Responsibility Act, (Repeal and Enactment) Bill, 2024 (HB. 1478).

It was sponsored by the Deputy Speaker of the House, Rep. Benjamin Okezie Kalu (APC Abia), and Co-Sponsored by the majority leader, Rep. Julius Ihonvbere (APC Edo), Rep. Mansur Manu Soro (PDP Bauchi), Rep. Lawan Ali Shetima (APC Yobe), Rep. Ikeagwuonu Ugochinyere (PDP Imo) , Rep. Joshua Audu Gana (PDP Niger) and Rep. Akiolu M. Kayode (APC Lagos).

This significant legislative effort seeks to address and overhaul the existing Fiscal Responsibility Act (FRA) of 2007, which has been criticized for its inherent limitations.

The need for amending the  FRA Act was highlighted by the Fiscal Responsibility Commission’s (FRC) Executive Chairman, Victor Muruako, during a capacity strengthening workshop on fiscal responsibility and public management held by OrderPaper Advocacy Initiative through its Growth Initiative for Fiscal Transparency (GIFT) programme on February 27, 2024.

Muruako emphasized the Act’s initial acclaim for promoting prudent resource management and macroeconomic stability, but he noted that its flaws have become increasingly apparent.

As stewards of our nation’s well-being, it is incumbent upon us to fortify our knowledge and expertise in navigating the complexities of fiscal governance,” Muruako stated. 

He expressed optimism about the 10th Assembly’s commitment to amending the Act, underscoring the historical significance of crafting a superior framework for public finance management.

Meanwhile, OrderPaper Advocacy Initiative alongside the following cluster of organisations, Centre for Transparency Advocacy (CTA), HipCity Innovation Centre, CLICE Foundation and AdvoKC on June 3, 2023, implemented a GIFT dialogue on private sector engagement on public finance management with the theme “ Nigeria’s Fiscal Policy and the Private Sector”  at the NEITI house in Abuja.

The dialogue was organised under the auspices of the GIFT project supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) through the Strengthening Civic Advocacy and Local Engagement (SCALE) Project.

This dialogue was held in collaboration with the Fiscal Responsibility Commission (FRC) and the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI).

The Executive Chairman of the FRC, Muruako, in his goodwill message, underscored the need for the private sector to understand and be key to the ongoing courageous fiscal reforms of the current administration of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

He therefore called on the private sector to actively engage with the public sector to uphold accountability and prudent management of public resources.

About The GIFT Nigeria Project

The GIFT, which stands for Growth Initiatives for Fiscal Responsibility Project, is anchored on advocacy to amend the Fiscal Responsibility Act (FRA), 2007. The theory of change is that a significant reduction, if not the elimination of opacity, lack of transparency and accountability, and other forms of corruption through fiscal reforms and prudent use of public resources, including accountable debt management, will lead to efficient, effective, and functional service delivery at the national and sub-national levels.

The GIFT Project is supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) through the Strengthening Civic Advocacy and Local Engagement (SCALE) Project.

OrderPaper leads a cluster of civil society organisations (CSOs), such as the Centre for Transparency Advocacy (CTA), HipCity Innovation Center, CLICE Foundation, and AdvoKC, in implementing this project.

Through awareness campaigns, policy advocacy, stakeholder mobilization, research and analysis the GIFT project will not rest on its oars as continued support and vigilance are essential to ensure the bill’s final passage and effective implementation, thus fulfilling the objectives of the GIFT project and promoting sustainable development in Nigeria.

In addition to the Fiscal Responsibility Act bill, 18 other bills scaled their first reading in the House. These include:

  • Auctioneers Registration Council of Nigeria (Establishment) Bill, 2024 (HB.1508) by Rep. Francis O. Waive.
  • Maize Export Prohibition Bill, 2024 (HB. 1509) by Rep. Babajimi Benson.
  • National Farm Settlement Agency (Establishment) Bill, 2024 (HB. 1347) and Nigeria Police Act (Amendment) Bill, 2024 (HB. 1352) by Rep. Maruf Afolabi Afuape.
  • Nigerian Cashew Utilization Board (Establishment) Bill, 2024 (HB.1359) and Information Technology and Innovation Bill, 2024 (HB. 1360) by Rep. Kareem Tajudeen Abiodun.
  • Witness Protection and Management Bill, 2024 (HB. 1463), Agricultural Research Council of Nigeria Act (Amendment) Bill, 2024 (HB.1464), and National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, Kuru Act (Repeal and Enactment) Bill, 2024 (HB. 1465) by Rep. Dalyop Chollom Fom.
  • National Board for Arabic and Islamic Studies (NBAIS) (Establishment) Bill, 2024 (HB. 1469) by Rep. Adewunmi Oriyomi Onanuga.
  • Federal Medical Centres Act (Amendment) Bill, 2024 (HB. 1471), Compulsory, Free Universal Basic Education Act (Amendment) Bill, 2024 (HB. 1472), and Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (Sixth alteration) Bill, 2024 (HB. 1473) by Rep. Kabir Ibrahim Tukura.
  • Chartered Institute of Project Management of Nigeria Act (Repeal and Enactment) Bill, 2024 (HB. 1476), Nigerian Independent Warehouse Regulatory Agency (Establishment) Bill, 2024 (HB. 1480), Agricultural Research Council of Nigeria Act (Amendment) Bill, 2024 (HB. 1481), Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (Alteration) Bill, 2024 (HB. 1482), and National Youth Service Corps Act (Amendment) Bill, 2024 (HB. 1405) by Rep. Benjamin Okezie Kalu.

Leah Twaki

A Chemistry graduate, excels as a social media manager, digital journalist, and content creator with an interdisciplinary skills blend of science and communication.

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