By Oluwatobi Opusunju
Nigeria is making a saving of about N24.7 billion monthly with the implementation of the Treasury Single Account (TSA) and enforcement of the Bank Verification Number (BVN) process to eliminate fraudulent accounts and ensure a proper payments into government coffer. President Muhammadu Buhari announced this in Abuja at the opening ceremony of the 2017 e-Nigeria Conference, organised by the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA).
The president affirmed his government belief in technology as a way to checkmate fraud and grow capacity in the economy. He said the scourge of ghost workers has been largely eliminated with the implementation of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) and Bank Verification Number (BVN) in a way that introduced transparency and openness in government’s financial dealings.
“You may recall that on assumption of office, we enforced the policy on Treasury Single Account (TSA). Today, we are all witnesses to the impact it has made on our financial management.
“We have so far consolidated over 20,000 accounts, resulting into about N24.7 billion monthly savings. In addition the policy facilitated transparency, accountability and ease of transactions and payments between Government and businesses as well as Government and citizens,” said the president to an audience that included members of his cabinet, ICT stakeholders and the investing public.
The president expressed his belief that ICT holds a strategic position in rebuilding Nigeria’s economy and imbuing faith back in the system. He assured that government will continue to integrate technology into national planning.
His words: “ICT is strategic in driving productivity and efficiency in all sectors of the economy. Currently, almost all sectors of our economy leverage on ICT to increase efficiency, productivity and performance.”
“ICT plays a pivotal role with agencies of government such as the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) which have leaned on ICT in improving public service delivery in an efficient and transparent manner. So far, 31 reforms have been completed by the Council and these reforms are already making noticeable impact on our economic diversification efforts.”
The president also expressed satisfaction with the steady growth of ICT and noted that the sector was increasingly gaining grounds as a major contributor to the country’s GDP.
“The sector has recorded huge investments and contributes over 10% of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and we are making conscious efforts to see that this contribution continues to grow in the next few years.
But Buhari expressed worries that the country’s indigenous entrepreneurship landscape was being left out of the growth. Robust expansion in the ICT sector has only further the nation’s sense of dependency on foreign skills and products. Government, he said, owes it a duty to promote local content and local patronage.