By Emma Ujah, Abuja Bureau Chief
Abuja —The Federal Government has commenced payment to Systems Specs, owners of Remita, the e-collection and e-payment software used for implementation of the Treasury Single Account, TSA, Accountant-General of the Federation, AGF, Alhaji Ahmed Idris, disclosed this yesterday in Abuja.
The percentage of the fee agreement between the Federal Government and Systems Specs created a lot of controversy, with some members of the National Assembly and the public alleging a rip-off.
But the AGF told journalists at the TSA workshop in Abuja, that the issue had been resolved and that the service providers were now being paid the fee.
He said: “Remita is a service provider. Obviously, no service provider will provide any service without payment.We paid them the first tranche of their fees and the next tranche is being considered.
“It is a matter of sitting together, reconciling what they have done in terms of transmittal of money into the system and once we reconcile, we will get them paid.”
Speaking on claims that the TSA had make business difficult for deposit money banks, Alhaji Idris said the banks were not meant to hold government funds, advising them to revert to their traditional roles.
He said: “Banks are never created to hold public funds or government funds virtually for free. No! That is not banking. Nowhere in the world are banks relying on public funds to survive.
“So, banks are now becoming more innovative and that innovation is what will bring them back to business and I believe very soon, retrenchment in the sector will be a thing of the past and they will be looking for people to employ because they are now focused on doing what they are supposed to do.”
According to the nation’s number one treasurer, federal universities and teaching hospitals would be removed from the block TSA in order to separate funds that do not qualify to be in the account.
He said his team was working on deploying the necessary technology for all third party university funds from the TSA which had been criticized as having aggregated universities’ funds unduly.
“We keep improving on deployment of technology and modern applications to solve all the challenges that are being perceived.
“Right now, we are talking with some programme developers, because we observed that for teaching hospitals and universities, there are endowment funds, there are third party funds and there are funds that are not meant as holding funds.
‘’We deploy technology to sort out those funds, separate from normal conventional revenues.”