Deposit Money Banks in the country have been advised to seek the approval of the Fiscal Responsibility Commission (FRC) before lending to states. The FRC said this was in line with the provisions of the Fiscal Responsibility Act, 2007, adding that going forward, state governments should publish their budgets online annually.

It further stated that states should publish their budget implementation performance report online quarterly.

These were part of the recommendations contained in the communique made available to our correspondent in Abuja by the FRC on its recent regional retreat on policy framework for strengthening fiscal transparency, prudence and accountability at the sub-national levels.

On lending to states by DMBs, the communique read in part, “No commercial bank should lend money to states without approval from the FRC, in line with the provisions of the FRA.”

It said states should introduce public financial management reforms post COVID-19 such as the International Public Sector Accounting Standards, Treasury Single Account, and Government Integrated Financial Management Information System.

Others include the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System, Charts of Accounts, Medium-Term Expenditure Framework, Medium Term Sector Strategy, and Operating Surplus Template.

The commission stated that participants at the retreat agreed that states needed to deploy adequate information, communication and technology infrastructure and to conduct training for staff.

It said, “States should publish state budget online annually and publish budget implementation performance report online quarterly.

“States should sign up to the Open Government Partnership initiative.”

The commission said states should establish registers for the disclosure of information on beneficial owners of commercial entities to improve transparency and accountability in private sector governance.

“The FRC should articulate and disseminate the key benefits of domesticating and implementing the FRA and the consequences otherwise, with states,” the commission said in the communique.

It noted that the FRC should sensitise the National Economic Council and the Nigeria Governors’ Forum on the need for the domestication of the FRA and the establishment of state commissions.

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