By Oluwatobi Opusunju
Over 11 billion naira is saved monthly by the federal government since the Treasury Single Account (TSA) was fully implemented, Accountant General of the Federation (AGF), Alhaji Ahmed Idris, has revealed. The TSA runs on the Remita software platform; it helps to manage public funds and consolidate all inflows from all agencies of government into a single account at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
The over N132 billion annual savings since the TSA was escalated to full implementation in 2015 after President Muhammadu Buhari assumed office is touted as one of the achievements of the government to fight corruption and improve financial transparency.
Idris spoke through the Deputy Director/Coordinator, TSA and e-collection, Mr Sylva Okolieaboh at the recent Lunch Term Seminar on “Common Challenges in the implementation of the TSA in the Nigerian Public Service” organised by the Bureau of Public Service Reform (BPSR) in Abuja.
The TSA ended public sector accounts with private banks to allow government have a more efficient means of monitoring and auditing its income and expenditures. Under the TSA, ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) are not allowed to operate accounts outside of the CBN.
According to Idris, without the TSA in place the government would have been faced with a lot of financial issues such as interest on overdraft, account maintenance cost and others imposed by deposit money banks.
“Despite resistance and limited understanding of the federal government’s Treasury Single Account (TSA), the federal government has saved N11 billion each month as at the last count,” said Idris.
Noting the challenges affecting the full implementation of the technology solution which started in 2012, Idris listed the non-enrolment of key arms of government, capacity deficit, and lack of clarity in stakeholder roles as well as conflicting directives and signals as key issues yet to be solved.
The TSA runs on Remita, and was developed by an indigenous IT firm, Systemspecs. It was implemented following the recommendation of International Monetary Fund (IMF) to establishing a unified structure where all government funds are collected in one account in a bid to reduce borrowing costs, extend credit and improve government’s fiscal policy among other benefits for the government. The initiative covers all funds, budgetary or extra-budgetary, under the control of federal government entities.