The Chairman of the House of Reps Ad-hoc Committee on the Treasury Single Account (TSA), Abubakar Danburam Nuhu has indicted the Federal Government for poor ownership and handling of the TSA policy, even though it is frequently highlighted by the presidency as one of its greatest achievements.
He said that the TSA lacks a coordinated office in charge of its implementation and monitoring. “Issues are being raised by so many people and they do not have answers to them. Who should be responsible for implementation and monitoring?” he asked. Danburam Nuhu therefore called for the establishment of a TSA agency to be headed by a director.
He made this point as a guest on Channels Television Business Morning Show, where he was joined by an Economic Analyst from Proshare Nigeria, Babalola Tope, to discuss some of the unfinished businesses surrounding the TSA policy.
Danburam Nuhu said although TSA has been of great benefit to the government, curtailing corruption, blocking leakages and cutting off arbitrary charges previously collected by commercial banks, “the unfortunate thing with the TSA is that there are so many issues that are lingering and affecting the smooth implementation of the account.”
“My committee has been doing a lot of work in terms of trying to investigate the TSA for quite some time now but the challenges that are there need to be resolved.”
Stating some of the challenges, he said “For the last two years, the TSA has not been audited and when we called the Auditor General (AuGF), it seems that he has not been part of the TSA implementation. He had to confess to us that there hasn’t been any audit in the last two years
“Also, there has been no reconciliation between the office of the Accountant General of the Federation (AGF) and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).”
Danburam Nuhu also revealed that the foreign currency component of the TSA is not yet activated for unknown reasons. Therefore no one knows exactly how federal government funds collected in diaspora are administered. “This means all accounts which are foreign denominated are not yet part of the TSA. They are still sitting in banks, which are probably out of the country or even in Nigeria,” he emphasised.
As at March 2017, the Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun had revealed that the TSA has processed over N7 trillion revenue into Government coffers. It was also revealed that over 20,000 commercial bank accounts where government revenue were previously stashed had been closed, saving the government about N4.7 billion monthly in bank charges.
Although TSA policy was partially implemented during the Goodluck Jonathan era, the current administration led by President Muhammadu Buhari continues to hold it up as its most prominent economic reform strategy.
However, details emerging clearly show that the policy faces serious risks bordering on non-compliance by some agencies and failure to consolidate the policy- giving it a proper legislative backing such that its sustainability beyond the current administration is guaranteed.
Also, it was revealed that the service providers who are responsible for facilitating payments into the Treasury Single Account are being owed by the government.