ICPC, FRC Pledge to Drive Assets Recovery, Projects Tracking

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By Iyobosa Uwugiaren

To advance the fight against corruption in Nigeria, the Fiscal Responsibility Commission (FRC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) have pledged to work together in the areas of assets recovery and capital projects tracking.

This is coming as FRC said that it has caused over N1.75trillion to be remitted to the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF) in the last 11 years.

In a statement signed by the Head, Communications, FRC, Mr. Bede Anyanwu, the agency said that both organisations also expressed their commitment to the exchange of ideas and resources in prosecuting the fight against corruption in public finance management in the country.

He said these formed part of the outcomes of a courtesy call by the management team of the FRC led by its chairman, Mr. Victor Muruako, to the ICPC head office in Abuja recently. The FRC team was received by the management of the ICPC led by its chairman, Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye (SAN).

Addressing his hosts, Muruako acknowledged that the FRC has enjoyed a robust relationship with the ICPC, which must now be rejigged for better results against the obvious over bearing influence of the twin evils of inefficiency and corruption.

He noted that the FRC, statutorily charged with the mandate to monitor the implementation of the Fiscal Responsibility Act (FRA), 2007, is “an institutional response to the quest for a regime of prudent, ethical and efficient management of public finances at all tiers of the government in Nigeria.”

“In order to ensure that the FRA was adhered to, the Commission had to devise alternative strategies to nudge the MDAs to discharge their functions through stakeholders’ interactions and bilateral engagements geared towards increasing awareness and understanding the requirements of the FRA, 2007”, Muruako stated.

While expressing concern over the nation’s economy, which he said is “at a precarious situation” – with respect to financial constraints in funding of public projects for the benefits of the people, FRC boss said “corrupt officials cart away billions of naira in different guises through government funds under their care.”

Muruako revealed that while the FRC has caused over N1.75 trillion to be remitted to the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF) in the last 11 years, “agencies of government are in deficit of over N1trillion” which a close working relationship with the ICPC can help retrieve and further block loopholes in public finance management.

The FRC chairman also sought the support of the ICPC in capacity-building and training of staff of the Commission.

In his response, the Chairman of the ICPC, Owasanoye, identified assets recovery and capital projects tracking as areas of immediate cooperation between his agency and the FRC, noting that the mandates of both organisations make it expedient that they have to work together to eliminate impunity and corruption in public office.

“We are quite happy to collaborate with the FRC in the areas of assets recovery and capital projects tracking and to leverage on our enforcement powers to achieve the mandates of our agencies,” he stated.

Owasanoye also pledged the support of the ICPC in manpower development and training for staff of the FRC, stressing that capacity-building is very important towards the realisation of the objectives of anti-corruption agencies of government.

He thanked the FRC chairman for the visit and congratulated him on the nomination and senate confirmation of his appointment.