Ifeanyi Onuba, Abuja
Since the introduction of the Treasury Single Account in September 2015, a total inflow of N8.9tn from Ministries, Departments and Agencies of government has been recorded by the Federal Government.
The Accountant-General of the Federation, Alhaji Ahmed Idris, gave the figure in Abuja on Friday at a workshop for finance journalists held at the headquarters of the Ministry of Finance.
He also said over N70bn of funds belonging to the Federal Government had been lost to distressed banks in the country.
He spoke on the theme, ‘TSA: A veritable tool for transparency and accountability in public financial management’.
Idris stated that the TSA had been used by the government to unify all its accounts by ensuring that all monies belonging to the Federal Government were kept with the Central Bank of Nigeria.
He said the initiative had assisted the Federal Government to close over 17,000 bank accounts, while huge sums of money had been moved from Deposit Money Banks to the CBN.
Idris, who was represented at the event by the Deputy Director/Coordinator TSA/e-Collection, Funds Department, Office of Accountant-General of the Federation, Mr. Sylva Okolie, said the TSA policy had been able to assist the government to address a lot of impediments affecting the efficiency of public finance.
He said since the implementation of the policy three years ago, a total of 1,674 MDAs had been enrolled into the TSA platform.
Idris stated, “The TSA covers all funds budgetary or extra budgetary, including loans, grants and donations under the control of all Federal Government entities irrespective of the arm of government.
“All collections are done through electronic channels and we have recorded N8.9tn gross inflow to date with 1,674 MDAs enrolled.
“The TSA is intended to address multiple bank accounts of over 17,000, countless dormant accounts with huge balances, inability to determine consolidated cash position of government, borrowing and incurring charges when there are idle balances in MDAs accounts, delayed remittance of revenue and collections. Over N70bn of Federal Government funds lost to failed banks.”
The AGF told participants at the workshop that the government was currently enjoying a lot of benefits from the implementation of the TSA policy.
For instance, he stated that through the policy, the government had been able to block leakages and abuse, which had characterised the public sector before its commencement in September 2015.
Apart from blocking leakages, Idris said the TSA initiative had assisted the government to overcome the burden of indiscriminate borrowing by the MDAs, thus saving the government a lot of bank charges associated with these borrowings.
In addition, he said through the policy, the government had eliminated various financial charges which hitherto stood at N40bn monthly.
He added that despite the successes so far recorded, there were still some institutional and operational challenges that were affecting the scheme.
The AGF gave some of them as capacity deficit, lack of clarity in stakeholders’ roles, conflicting directives and signals, resistance based on limited understanding of the TSA, and non-enrolment of key arms of government.
Others are lump sum transfer of MDAs’ balances by Deposit Money Banks, difficulty in accessing bank statements and associated reconciliation issues, and multiplicity of sub-accounts.
In his presentation at the event, the Secretary of the Presidential Initiative on Continuous Audit, Mohammed Dikwa, said a total of N208bn had been saved for the government through an audit of the payroll.
Giving a breakdown of the N208bn, he noted that the sum of N97.94bn was saved in 2016, while N110.46bn was saved in 2017.
Dikwa added that in the last two years, the expenditure of the Federal Government had been subjected to increased scrutiny as part of plans to ensure macroeconomic stability.
According to him, through the activities of the committee, all Federal Government receipts and payments are being subjected to financial rules and regulations.
He said the areas of wastage and leakages in personnel costs, overhead costs, capital supplementation, pension and gratuities and statutory transfers, among others, had been identified and blocked.
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