The Fiscal Responsibility Commission (FRC) said on Monday in Lagos that it had generated N725 billion for the Federal Government, from Independent Revenue, in the first half of 2022.
The Chairman, Fiscal Responsibility Commission, Chief Victor Muruako, made the disclosure at the opening of a three-day technical assistance to sub-nationals/workshop on sustaining the gains of fiscal transparency and accountability in states.
The workshop, the third in the series, which had “Strengthening Fiscal Management at State Level’’, as its theme, planned to be deliberate in addressing the salient issue of borrowing by governments of the federation, among other things.
“At the national level, we at Fiscal Responsibility Commission in discharge of our mandate have been able to improve the independent revenue of the Federal Government.
“I can tell you that by 2020, the independent revenue of the Federal Government for that financial year was about N525 billion; FRC has been instrumental, working with other agencies and the National Assembly, to achieve increase in the independent revenue of the Federal Government.
“For the first time in the history of the country, its independent revenue exceeded the 1 trillion Naira mark in 2021
“This year, the Federal Government has already achieved N725 billion, from independent revenue, that is, half of the year, and we are looking forward that the revenue target of this year will still be achieved because most of the independent revenue usually come in between the third and fourth quarter,’’ Muruako said.
He, therefore, urged states government to explore and invest energy in improving their revenue base adding that lots of revenue base were wasting and lots were left for people to grasp into their pocket.
According to him, most independent revenue of states government are usually remitted to private pockets and citizens cannot be growing fatter when government are busy borrowing.
He said, “government can’t be borrowing when citizens are expanding; so I want to appeal to state governments to show fatherly love to their citizen by investing more energy in improving their revenue base.
“It is hard law but it’s a better law.’’
Dr Gregory Jobome, Executive Director, Risk Management Division, Access Bank Plc, said that banks would continue to play critical roles in the process.
According to him, the bank lends directly to various sub-nationals and also administer some fund lending on behalf of government and other global agencies from time to time.
“As a bank, our role just like any other bank is to intermediate in the system. We take money from the excess savers and we give to the borrowers, typically, industry or government as the case maybe and in that process, we monitor all those borrowings.
“As we monitor, the monies are used wisely for the intended purposes; whether its capital expenditure and so on, you get investment efficiency and value for the monies that have been provided.
“So two things that we do, it’s not just to dish out the money but also ensure that the monies are used wisely. So this partnership can only bring progress on our country,’’ he said.
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