Treasury single account

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Treasury Single Account (TSA) is a financial policy in use in several countries all over the world.[1] It was proposed by the federal government of Nigeria in 2012 under the Jonathan Administration and was fully implemented by the Buhari Administration.[2] to consolidate all inflows from all agencies of government into a single account at the Central Bank of Nigeria.[3]

Background[edit]

Efficient management and control of government's cash resources rely on government banking arrangements. Nigeria, like many low income countries, employed fragmented systems in handling government receipts and payments. Establishing a unified structure as recommended by the IMF, where all government funds are collected in one account would reduce borrowing costs, extend credit and improve government's fiscal policy among other benefits to government. The IMF also recommends the establishment of a legal basis to ensure its robustness and stability.[4][5] The introduction of the Treasury Single Account policy therefore was vital in reducing the proliferation of bank accounts operated by ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) towards promoting financial accountability among governmental organs. The compliance of the policy in Nigeria created challenges for majority of the MDAs.[6] Commercial banks in Nigeria remitted over 2 trillion Naira worth of idle and active governments deposits with full implementation of this policy in 2016.[7][8] Meanwhile, the bankers committee of the country has declared their support for the policy.[9] Through Remita, the integrated electronic payments and collections platform developed by a company called [http://www.systemspecs.com.ng SystemSpecs, the TSA initiative has enabled the Federal Government of Nigeria to take full control of over 3 trillion Naira ($15 billion) of its cash assets as at the end of the first quarter of 2016.[10][11]

Reactions to the introduction of Treasury Single Account[edit]

The operation of the Treasury Single Account in Nigeria has not been without controversies. On Tuesday, 10 November 2015, Dino Melaye, a Nigerian senator representing Kogi West, raised a motion that the operation of the treasury single account (TSA) be investigated for possible corruption. He claimed that "the appointment of REMITA, an e-collection agent, is a gross violation of section 162 (1) of the Nigerian Constitution and the banks and other Financial Institutions Act." He claimed the constitution only recognised a banking institution to be the collector of government funds, that Remita was not a bank. The provision of the Constitution cited by Melaye states, “the federation shall maintain a special account to be called the federation account into which all revenues collected by the government of the federation except the proceeds from the personal income tax of the personnel of the Armed Forces of the Federation, the Nigeria Police Force, the ministry or department of government charged with foreign affairs and the residents of the FCT, Abuja.” According to Melaye, the total inflow of 1% commission charged and received by SystemSpecs for all revenue collected on behalf of the government from the various ministries, departments and agencies to be 25 billion Naira as of November, 2015 was fraud and must be returned to the account of the Central Bank of Nigeria. The senate consequently ordered its committee on finance and public accounts to "commence an investigation into the use of Remita (which it erroneously described as an e-collection agent) since the inception of the TSA policy.[12][13]

Ayo Fayose, Governor of Ekiti State, introduced a political angle to the controversy when he alleged that the funds collected through of TSA were used to finance governorship elections in Bayelsa and Kogi States by the All Progressives Congress, apart from enriching "a single company in one month."[14][15] 25 billion Naira is the negotiated commission of one per cent of 2.5 trillion Naira - total amount of monies collected by Remita for the Federal Government of Nigeria. However, the Federal Government of Nigeria through the office of The Minister of Information and Culture Lai Mohammed debunked the opinion that the TSA policy was not intended to loot the Nigeria treasury.[16] The minister in his statement attempted to absolve the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari when he claimed that the TSA contract was signed during the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan[17] The CBN in an attempt to justify their position released a letter to the press titled “Commencement of Federal Government independent revenue collection under the Treasury Single Account (TSA) initiative”. In the letter, the CBN debunked all the allegations made by Melaye as being misleading.[18] At the height of the controversy, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), instructed SystemSpecs to return of all the revenues made so far on the contract, a directive, which SystemSpecs obeyed without delay as a "business decision".[19][20]

In a letter reportedly written to President Muhammadu Buhari by John Obaro, Founder and Managing Director of SystemSpecs, developers of the Remita application, the allegation that SystemSpecs pocketed 25 billion Naira was refuted. Obaro explained that the one per cent commission was negotiated prior to the signing of the contract; and the one per cent commission was shared by SystemSpecs, participating commercial banks and the Central Bank of Nigeria in the ratio of 50:40:10 respectively.[21][22] According to findings by PremiumTimes,'Remita' is not "an agency" but an application/software for executing payment instructions and collection of government revenue. The software facilitates the payment of government revenue from financial institutions to a TSA in the CBN. The report cited holes in Melaye's accusations and termed them "misleading."[23] The Joint Senate investigative committee absolved SystemSpecs of any wrongdoing as “the committee could not ascertain the deduction/collection of twenty-five billion Naira (N25 billion) by SystemSpecs as 1% fee charged for the use of its Remita platform within the period under investigation.” This was contained in section 6.1.16 on pages 16 and 17 of the committee’s report.[24][25][26]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Sailendra Pattanayak; Israel Fainboim. "Treasury Single Account: Concept, Design, and Implementation Issues" (PDF). International Monetary Fund Working Paper.
  2. ^ Premium Times. "15 things to know about Treasury Single Account (TSA)". Retrieved 4 July 2016.
  3. ^ primetimes. "Buhari orders federal ministries, agencies to open treasury single account". Retrieved 19 October 2015.
  4. ^ Sailendra Pattanayak,Israel Fainboim. "Treasury Single Account:An Essential Tool for Government Cash Management" (PDF). International Monetary Fund.
  5. ^ Sailendra Pattanayak,Israel Fainboim. "Treasury Single Account: Concept, Design, and Implementation Issues" (PDF). International Monetary Fund Working Paper.
  6. ^ premium times. "300 MDAs yet to comply with Treasury Single Account directive — AGF". Retrieved 19 October 2015.
  7. ^ "Treasury Single Account: Bank deposits loss may hit N2trn".
  8. ^ sun news online. "Buhari and the Treasury Single Account". micheal jegede. Retrieved 19 October 2015.
  9. ^ thisday live. "Bankers' Committee Shrugs Off Effect of Treasury Single Account". nnamdi okonkwo. Retrieved 19 October 2015.
  10. ^ "Remita Bags 'Most Efficient e-Revenue Service Award'". ThisDay. Retrieved 11 July 2016.
  11. ^ Babajide Komolafe. "TSA: FG records N3trn inflow in Q1 —AGF". Vanguard. Retrieved 4 May 2016.
  12. ^ "Senate Investigates Alleged Abuse Of Treasury Single Account". Channels TV. Retrieved 11 November 2015.
  13. ^ Fredrick Nwabufo. "Melaye alleges fraud in management of TSA". The Cable. Retrieved 10 November 2015.
  14. ^ Wole Balogun. "Fayose: TSA is fraud". sunnnews online. Retrieved 22 December 2015.
  15. ^ "I won't attend FG's meeting with govs on TSA – Fayose". Vanguard Newspaper. Retrieved 22 December 2015.
  16. ^ "TSA saga: Lai Mohammed, Fayose's aide in verbal war". The Sun Newspaper. Retrieved 22 December 2015.
  17. ^ "President Goodluck Jonathan Regime Signed TSA Agreement With 1% Fee - Minister". sahara reporters. Retrieved 22 December 2015.
  18. ^ "How Dino Melaye misled the Senate on TSA, Remita". daily post. Retrieved 21 December 2015.
  19. ^ Salisu Idris. "TSA: We refunded N8bn REMITA charge – SystemSpecs". Today. Retrieved 10 December 2015.
  20. ^ Gabriel Omoh. "FG's order threatens Treasury Single Account". vanguard newspaper. Retrieved 22 December 2015.
  21. ^ Wale Odunsi. "Remita boss, Obaro writes Buhari, explains all about TSA contract". daily post. Retrieved 19 December 2015.
  22. ^ Babajide Komolafe. "TSA: 1% transaction charges is revenue for Remita, CBN, banks". Vanguard Newspaper. Retrieved 22 December 2015.
  23. ^ Nicholas Ibekwe. "Full details of TSA: Dino Melaye misled Nigerian Senate on N25 billion claim". Premium Times. Retrieved 15 November 2015.
  24. ^ Onodome Jakpor. "SystemSpecs: The Uncelebrated Heroes that "Averted Nigeria's Collapse"". ThisDay. Retrieved 6 August 2016.
  25. ^ "Report of the Senate Join Committee on Finance; Banking, Insurance and Other Financial Institutions; and Public Accounts on The Abuse and Mismanagement of Treasury Single Account Regime (TSA)" (PDF). Abubakar Bukola Saraki Website.
  26. ^ Editor. "Remita: Senate Admits Error, Says No Fraud Found In TSA Implement By SystemSpecs". Abusidiqu Blog. Retrieved 3 June 2016.

General references[edit]