The Accountant-General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris, has said that the has so far realised N5.244 trillion as inflows in the Treasury Single Account, TSA, following the moping -up and direct debits of accounts by the Central Bank of Nigeria.
The AGF stated this on Tuesday in his welcome address at the opening of a two-day retreat on the one year of the TSA implementation (the benefits, challenges and way forward), organised by his office at the International Conference Centre, Abuja.
He noted that the quality of leadership provided by President Muhammadu Buhari, which he described as rare courage and political will, is a major reason for the successes so far achieved by the TSA policy implementation.
Mr Idris further said that TSA has eliminated multiple banking arrangements in the MDAs and resulted in the consolidation of over 200,000 bank accounts, which were spread in Deposit Money Banks across the country.
He said TSA has equally brought transparency, effective tracking of government revenue as well as blocked leakages and abuse in management of government finances.
“TSA implementation has taken us out of the era of indiscriminate borrowings by MDAS and saved government charges associated borrowing which amounted to about N4.7 billion prior to full Implementation of TSA “ the AGF said.
Mr Idris also revealed that given the considerable gains so far recorded in the TSA implementation, there was need to evaluate the programme and come up with best ways of improving the policy, which is the reason for the retreat.
He gave assurance that government was considering going beyond the cash management of TSA but will explore other viable economic options of resource utilization and deployment, especially in this era of economic recession.
In a speech to declare open the retreat, the acting president, Yemi Osibanjo, represented by the Special Adviser on Economic Affairs , Adeyemi Dipelu, congratulated the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation and its partners, particularly the IMF and the World Bank for their successful implementation of the TSA.
He underscored the importance of the TSA scheme as being instrumental to the efficient management of public finances and pledged government’s commitment towards ensuring improvement in the implementation of the programme.
In her speech, the Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, highlighted the benefits of the TSA, saying it has enhanced greater opportunity in exercising better control over the financial base of MDAs and allows for critical decisions to be made.
Mrs. Adeosun, explained that efforts are being made to expand the scheme by engaging statutory corporations to come on board in order to adopt the scheme, lamenting that the major challenge is the uncooperative attitude of some Deposit Money Banks who are still keeping some government funds in their custody.
She however said that government has been engaging them on the need to transfer funds without identity to the TSA and for the defaulting institutions, government was making efforts to engage auditors to keep a tab on such funds.
There were presentations from MD Access Bank, Herbert Wigwe and representative from the office of the governor of Anambra state and syndicate sessions, which provided the platform for brainstorming on the way forward.