Reps move to expand borrowing powers of FG

By Christiana Ekpa and Umar Muhammad Puma

The House of Representatives yesterday commenced steps to expand powers of the Federal Government to borrow.
The Bills sponsored by Hon.Ibrahim Babangida and three others equally seek to introduce new fiscal governance structures for sustainable economic growth.
Six consolidated bills on the subject matter were debated and read for the second time.
In expanding government’s borrowing scope, the lawmakers are amending the Fiscal Responsibility Act, 2007, to provide an expanded scope of borrowing power to the federal government.
The lawmakers also repealing the same Fiscal Responsibility law and enacting the fiscal Responsibility bill to provide for prudent management of the nation’s resources and ensure long term macro-economic stability of the national economy as well as secure greater accountability and transparency in fiscal operations within the Medium Term Fiscal Policy framework.
According to Babangida, a new fiscal Responsibility commission is to come on stream in the amendment exercise to ensure promotion and enforcement of the nation’s economic objectives.
The commission will under the powers of the law, enforce remittances of revenues into the consolidated revenue fund of the federation It will provide penalties for violation of the bill and establishment of the fiscal expansionary commission and to promote long term economic growth through greater transparency and accountability in fiscal operations of government, increased government spending on infrastructure and budget process reform.
Meanwhile, the lawmakers who have adjourned for the Easter recess and will resume April 10, 2018, passed 18 bills for third reading.
The bills which include provision for the Ajaokuta Steel company completion fund and a bill to amend the Revenue Mobilization, Allocation and Fiscal commission Act, to make provision for sanctions to punish erring revenue generating agencies and to enhance the revenue profile and remittance into the federation account for development purposes, will be forwarded to the Senate for concurrence before they are sent to the president for assent or otherwise.

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