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Reps to probe violation of Fiscal Responsibility Act by executive



…urge FG to commence funding plans for HIV management

By Kauthar Anumba-Khaleel

The House of Representatives has expressed worry over the failure of the budget office of the federation to comply with certain provisions of the Fiscal Responsibility Act.

This resolution was contained in a motion on the need for the budget office of the federation to comply with the Fiscal Responsibility Act moved yesterday by Hon.  KingsleyChinda.

Chinda, in his lead debate noted that the Budget Office of the federation as an agency of the federal ministry of finance was established to amongst other things to provide and implement budget and fiscal policies.

He however regretted that the budget office has failed to live up to its responsibilities in flagrant violation of the fiscal responsibility act.

“In recent times, there have been concern about the apparent failure of the budget office to comply with certain provisions of the Fiscal responsibility Act, Cap F40, Laws of the federation, 2004”.

The lawmaker stressed that for every responsible government to succeed, there was need for it to uphold the rule of law, even as rules and regulations should be abided by.

Citing Sections 26, 30 (1) and (2) and 50 of the Fiscal Responsibility Act, he warned that unless the budget office of the federation lives up to its responsibilities, achievement of transparency and effective budget implementation would continue to elude the nation at great costs.

The House consequently mandated its committees on Appropriations, Public Accounts,Finance, Public Procurement and Governmental Affairs to investigate the infractions of the fiscal responsibility act by the executive arm of government.

Also yesterday, the House urged the federation government to urgently commence plans for effective funding of HIV management.

This is as it mandated its committee on HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria to liaise with relevant agencies in the health sector to work out modalities on effective management of HIV response.

The decision sequels a motion on the need to evaluate the effect of withdrawal of HIV funding by international donors.

Sponsor of the motion, Hon. Sergius Ogun while leading the debate, noted that the World Health Organisation classed Nigeria as having the second highest HIV epidemic in the world after South Africa;

He also noted that since 2005, the number of annual AIDS-related deaths has multiplied, indicative of the fact that only 51% of those living with HIV in Nigeria have access to the antiretroviral treatment.

The lawmaker further noted tgat the country’s health sector is partly dependent on international donor for procurement of antiretroviral drugs as the federal government contributes 25% of funding for HIV management.

According to him, in consideration of the rating of Nigeria as the biggest economy in Africa, international donors have withdrawn funding as regards HIV response, which is reserved for poorer countries.

Ogun expressed concern that as a country with large number of persons living with the virus who require treatment, Nigeria is unable to produce any of the prescribed WHO drugs required for the management of the condition adding that there was need to increase HIV response especially with regards funding.