By Helen udoh -Abuja
On Tuesday 19th July 19, 2022, the Commission received a delegation of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) mission led by the Director, second African Regional Technical Assistance Centre in West Africa (AFRITAC West 2), Eva Jenkner, who was on an official visit to Nigeria.
A roundtable discussion was held between the visiting IMF officials and the management of the Commission on the Technical Assistance Needs to be required by the Commission for the Fiscal Year 2023/2024 Work Plan.
Briefing the visitors while sitting in for the Chairman who was unavoidably not available, Director of Administration, Muhammed Zailani, recalled that in the drive towards discharging its mandate, the Commission received valuable support from the IMF West 2 mission in terms of staff capacity building held virtually in April.
The training, he said, highlighted, among other important issues, the role of the Commission as an independent fiscal institution as a ‘watch dog’ or an external evaluator in the country’s fiscal space.
The Commission, while acknowledging and appreciating the Bretton woods institution’s pledge to assist the Commission with more training programs, requested that such programs include, inter alia: training on producing a standard template for the preparation of the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF), Public debt management, tracking and sustainability in line with Section 42 of the Fiscal Responsibility Act, 2007 as well as forensic auditing and software used for FRC investigators.
On their part, the IMF team reiterated the AFRITAC West 2’s readiness to support the Commission in undertaking this very important work. This is while they emphasized willingness, transparency and accountability being the sine qua non of their intervention.
Other issues touched on in the course of the discussion include the Commission’s working relationships with the National Assembly, Federal Ministry of Finance and other relevant government agencies.
The AFRITAC West 2 – a collaborative effort between the IMF, recipient countries and several bilateral and multilateral partners – was set up to provide capacity-building support in six West African countries (Cape Verde, Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and The Gambia) and has its offices located in Accra, Ghana.