20,000 Bank Accounts Consolidated Under TSA – AGF

The federal government has so far consolidated over 20,000 bank accounts since the implementation of Treasury Single Account (TSA) in the country.
Eyes Of Lagos source revealed that, Accountant General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris who disclosed this, said by aggressively implementing the TSA across board, the federal government has also eliminated multiple banking arrangements that were hitherto used as fraud channels.
Speaking at a 2-day workshop for financial correspondents yesterday in Abuja, the AGF noted that the consolidation of accounts has further brought about transparency and effective tracking of government revenues.
Stiff implementation of the TSA policy, he said, has among other achievements led to the blocking of leakages and abuse that characterized the public finance management prior to its advent.
He said, “As part of our stewardship, TSA has enabled us to make tremendous gains to the federal government and to the Nigerian economy. We have successfully eliminated multiple banking arrangements, resulting in consolidation of over 20,000 bank accounts which were spread over Deposit Money banks across the country.
“TSA has taken us out of the era of indiscriminate borrowings by MDAs and saved government the charges associated with those borrowings which hitherto amounted to N4.7 billion monthly”.
Idris disclosed that his office is at the verge of signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with a private estate developer for the construction of mass housing on the large expanse of land housing in Orozo.
He said the housing facility will be allocated to staff of the Treasury on owner-occupier basis.
He added that his office has also concluded plans with Hewlett-Packard (HP) for the training and certification of its software engineers and prospective Nigerians at large.
Stating that capacity building is one of his cardinal goals, the Accountant General said in that regard,  his team of management has successfully trained 2,537 staff of the Treasury in different grade levels between February and April this year.

We Won’t Exclude Varsities- FG
The federal government has insisted that universities will not be excluded from the Treasury Single Account (TSA) as the policy was not peculiar to universities alone.
This is just as it admitted that it failed to meet all the  demands raised by the Academic Staff Union Of Universities (ASUU), hence the  reason for the strike .
The Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, disclosed this to State House correspondents after the Federal Executive Council meeting presided over by Acting President Yemi Osinbajo at the presidential villa.
According to him, among all the demands raised by ASUU, the demand to exit the TSA will not be honoured and therefore, clamour by ASUU to exit the policy cannot hold water.
Adamu said, “ASUU requested that they should be allowed to stay off TSA and I think government will not do this because there are some peculiar funds in the university like endowment funds which are monies kept and all the interest they generate, prices and so on are given.
“Government will exempt that one only but for universities, it is part of the peculiarities; they just must log on. I hope later on when I meet them today there will be total agreement”.
The minister said that ASUU clearly negated the constitutional provision of notifying government adequately before embarking on the strike.
He added: “It is very sad that I am here and ASUU is on strike. Late last year, we had a meeting because ASUU gave one week ultimatum and we were able to work out some agreement. I must confess that government has not fulfilled its part of the bargain, even though we are unhappy that ASUU went on this strike without following due process and giving us good notice. We realised that we promised something and we didn’t fulfill it.
“I will be meeting them later today or tomorrow and I am sure we will be able to reach some agreement so that the strike will be called off as soon as possible”.
On the earned allowances, he disclosed that N30billion had initially been paid to ASUU to cover the special allowances but the inability of the lecturers to give proper account of the initial disbursement stalled the release of the balance of N23billion since 2010.
His words: There were communication differences which stalled the earned allowances. They have been paid N30billion; the problem actually arose because they were not able to account for the N30billion and we said we will only give them the balance if they are able to account for it and the balance is N23billion. The total is N53billion and government has the money to pay.
“I am sure you are aware of other issues we agreed on. There is the issue of re-negotiation which is the only one they agreed government has done what it promised because we set up the re-negotiation team and negotiation is already ongoing.
“There is the issue of Earned Allowances and I think because of some miscommunication, what we promised could not be done, but I am assuring ASUU and the whole nation that this is going to be done.
“There is the issue of registration for Nigerian Universities Pension Commission. I think that there are few issues that need to be sorted out with the Nigerian Pension Commission. I believe there will be no problem with that”.
Also, Information Minister, Lai Mohammed, said FEC approved the contract for the rehabilitation of Ajaokuta- Itakpe rail line.
He said that it involved track laying, permanent way works and ancillary facilities area and completion of 12 railway stations in favour of Messr CCECC Nig Ltd in the sum of $122.62million.
He said the amount was inclusive of all taxes at the prevailing CBN exchange rate of one dollar to N305 with a completion period of 15 months.
According to him, Ajaokuta to Warri track is in good condition and when the new contract is completed, access to the seaport is achieved for the evacuation of goods.

Reps Decry Failure To Audit TSA Account After 2 Years
Meanwhile, the House of Representatives yesterday berated the Auditor General of the Federation (AGF), Anthony Ayine, over his failure to carry out performance audit of the Treasury Single Account (TSA) after two years of operation.
This is even as it threatened to issue arrest warrant on the Group Managing Director of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Engr. Baru Maikanti, if he fails to appear before them in the next two weeks.
In his presentation at an interactive session between the House ad hoc committee investigating the TSA since inception in August 2015 to November 2016 and stakeholders on TSA, Ayine who acknowledged his shortcomings at auditing the TSA also said that it was technically wrong and an ‘omission’ on the part of the OAGF not to have audited the account.
He however disclosed that he had directed that a performance audit be carried out on the account after discovering that it had not been done since inception of the TSA.
He said, “We have not actually carried out performance audit directly. After my review, I asked why there was no audit of the TSA and was told it was an ongoing programme but I knew that there’s need to carry it out.
“Not carrying it out was an omission and it was wrong because circle of audit is for preceding year and we have had two for TSA now. Since I noticed that no performance audit was done, I gave the directive that it should be carried out three weeks ago”.
The AGF said the report of the audit would be ready between three and seven months, but the Abubakar Nuhu-led ad hoc committee insisted he makes it available by the first week of November.
On details of transfer of N4.2 trillion into TSA account in CBN, Ayine denied knowledge of the transfer, saying “not quite; I need to, as an auditor, have verifiable evidence before me to be categorical in my response. I need to have documents relating that”.
Meanwhile, the Accountant General of the Federation (AGF), Ahmed Idris, said the TSA has been positive to the economy, as it has blocked leakages as well as curb corruption in the system.
He said the platform has provided an opportinuty to monitor movement of money to and from Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDA).
“Now, what is done with allocations and disbursements to MDAs can now be monitored with a push of a button”, he said.
Idris also said the TSA has taken off the constant pressure on the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF) that was always in deficit and had to be financed with N4bn overdrawn every month before the inception of TSA.
“With this, there is fund to carry out activities of MDAs because payments are no longer authorized until due diligence is carried out and verified on projects”, he added.

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