The appointment of Barrister Victor Chinemerem Muruako, as chairman of the Fiscal Responsibility Commission (FRC) was confirmd by the Senate on Thursday.
This happened even as the upper chamber urged President Muhammadu Buhari to urgently nominate the remaining six members of the Commission to enable it to perform its duties effectively.
The FRC which was established by the Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2007 had remained without a properly constituted board for 14 years contrary to the Act.
Muruako was appointed to serve as acting Chairman of FRC in 2014 and since then, government had failed to fully constitute the board.
But following the adoption of the report of the Senator Solomon Adeola-led Senate Committee on Finance which screened and recommended Muruako to the Senate for confirmation for appointment.
However there was mild drama that almost stalled the confirmation but for the quick intervention of Senate President Ahmad Lawan which led to the clearance of Muruako.
Senate Leader, Senator Yahaya Abdullahi, had through a motion asked that Muruako’s nomination be stood down until President Buhari nominates other six members of the agency.
Deputy President of the Senate, Ovie Omo-Agege and other Senators supported the leader’s motion.
The Senate later resolved to write to the President to urgently nominate other members of the FRC.
The FRA provides that the board should comprise seven members including the chairman.
According to the FRA, the FRC is mandated to among others “compel any person or government institution to disclose information relating to public revenues and expenditure; and cause an investigation into whether any person has violated any provisions of the Fiscal Responsibility Act.”
The Act further provides that “if the Commission is satisfied that such a person has committed any punishable offence under this Act the Commission shall forward a report of the investigation to the Attorney-General of the Federation for the possible prosecution.”
The Commission is also empowered to monitor and enforce the provisions of FRA in order to promote the economic objectives contained in section 16 of the Constitution.
The FRC is also to disseminate such standard practices including international good practice that will result in greater efficiency in the allocation and management of public expenditure, revenue collection, debt control and transparency in fiscal matters;
Besides, the Commission is to undertake fiscal and financial studies, analysis and diagnosis and disseminate the result to the general public.