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Monday, 14 November 2016

GOOD NEWS! Nigeria bidding recession goodbye as TSA hits N4.3trn!

It seems Nigeria is currently edging its way out of recession as the Treasury Single Account recorded rose to N4.36 trillion. The country hit rock bottom financially in 2016 as the economy went into recession but on Thursday, November 10, there were indications that things were turning around for good.
Leadership reports that Alhaji Ahmed Idris who is the accountant-general of the federation made this revelation at a workshop in Lagos titled ‘‘Operation, Implementation and Challenges of Treasury Single Accounts” which was organised by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN).

He said the TSA had helped to reduce inflation and reduce theft of public fund. He noted that due to the lack of TS in 2011, the country lost a whooping sum of N70 billion to failed banks, Idris said that in the past, ministries and departments operated more than 10,000 accounts that were mostly dormant and that the funds were not used to develop the country. He said:“Even if we detached accountability, transparency and anti- corruption from TSA, it is still very important. That is not the reason why government started TSA.

It is an anti-corruption tool, no doubt, but it is more than that. “We are doing TSA because, sometime in 2011 and 2012, before that time, the government of Nigeria, working with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) during Chief Olusegun Obasanjo’s first tenure, carried out a broad financial reform looking at the country’s financial system and one of the things they asked us to do was to do a census of bank accounts. “Even though restricted to mainline government ministries, we found out that among the ministries that were based in Abuja then, there were more than 10,000 bank accounts for about 30 ministries.

“It was not only the number that was the problem; the practice was that when new heads of ministries or agencies came on board, they would go and open new bank accounts based on personal interest, forgetting the previous accounts. When they open these new accounts and change signatories, whatever balances in the previous accounts remain there. “Even the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) was coming to us to draw our attention to the accounts, telling us to come and close them.”

Deacon Titus Soetan who is the president of ICAN commended the federal government for the initiative and described it as a tool to curb corruption. He said: “The implementation of the scheme would enable all government ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) to remit all their revenue collections into a single account through commercial banks acting as agents.

At the close of the day’s transactions, the banks are required to remit all the money collected to TSA at the CBN. “This is a departure from the past where government revenues were collected through several segmented channels, given rise to leakages in the revenue collection chain.”

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