Chairman of the House of Representatives, Adhoc Committee on Treasury Single Account (TSA), Abubakar Danburam-Nuhu (APC Kano) has described the lingering non-payment of processing fees to service providers of TSA as a major threat that will abort the continuity of the TSA, and therefore called for the establishment of TSA office.
Danburam-Nuhu said two years after the project was implemented, the service providers and the banks that are enabling the TSA have not been paid, and no one in government has assumed full responsibility for this lapse.
He listed the absence of effective policy compliance and monitoring agency, refusal to sanction non-complying MDAs, absence of clear communication strategy, introduction of conflicting and uncoordinated policies and technology platforms without effective evaluation as bottlenecks that jeopardise the TSA.
Other restrictions confronting the TSA according to him include lack of stakeholders engagement framework, deliberate attempts by the 5th columnist obtaining waivers and exemptions through the back doors within and outside government under different guises.
The legislator maintained that projecting the government of President Mohammadu Buhari before local and international communities as one that disrespects contracts has “no regard for the rule of law” and having more regard for foreign firms while treating indigenous firm with disdain.
He described TSA as a unified structure of government bank accounts that gives a consolidated view of government cash resources and came into national limelight in September 2015 when President Buhari directed all MDAs to become TSA-compliant in respect of all local and foreign payments and revenue collections.
The law maker further said that the implementation of TSA has introduced a new regime of effective management of government’s cash assets, improved transparency and accountability of government payment and receipt, blocking leakages and fighting corrupting on a large scale.
“TSA has achieved full visibility and control of government funds held at the Central Bank, eliminate arbitrary banking imposed on about 20,000 different bank accounts maintained with banks by MDAs, uncovered unknown government funds under different guises held in banks which have now been moved into TSA.
“Allowed government to save about N4.77bn monthly on ways and means charge in the last two years, ensured total revenue collection of N 8 Trillion in TSA from September 2015 – December 2017, total payments of N32 Trillion has been made from TSA account from September 2015 – December 2017 and promoted of indigenous payment technology to drive major national policy”, he said in a live interview he granted Channels TV.
Danburam called for the setting up of a TSA implementation and management office under the presidency that will be headed by sound official with proven track record.
“The person should not be below the level of director, provision of a TSA implementation status report within two weeks with input from all the agencies who currently handle its implementation in bits and pieces; immediate commencement of the foreign TSA component, resolution of all outstanding payment issues within two weeks to avoid continued frustration of banks and service providers despite provision of services for two years without payment”.
He also called for immediate suspension of all conflicting initiatives of new platforms until all stakeholders such as National Information Technology Development Agency [NITDA], Auditor General of the Federation [AGF], Bureau for Public Procurement [BPP], and Attorney General of the Federation among others, are effectively carried along and issues around current initiative fully resolved, and immediate onboarding of all MDAs who are yet to be on boarded or fully complaint.