Time To Suspend TSA
The Treasury Single Account (TSA) was implemented by the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration to curb corruption and enhance transparency. With the implementation of the policy, all accounts belonging to ministries, departments and agencies would be domiciled in a single account in the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for easy monitoring, which will effectively reduce the incidence of corruption.
Despite the nobility of the policy, the fact that it came at the wrong time could never be disputed. Without doubt, the TSA is one of the major factors that contributed to the economic recession bedevilling the country. Despite the negative effects of vandalism by the Niger Delta terrorists and faulty economic policies that have so far wrought significant damage to the economy, in my candid opinion, the hurried implementation of the TSA ranks high as one of the major factors why we are in recession.
It’s an open secret that accounts of MDAs are the lifeline of most banks and in one fell swoop, the money from those banks were transferred to the TSA. The resultant effect was massive retrenchment of workers by banks who were gasping for breath.
Apart from the government and probably Dangote Group of companies, banks are the highest employers of labour in Nigeria. Therefore, it is no rocket science to know that since May 29 last year, more than 4 million Nigerians have lost their jobs with the financial sector accounting for a big chunk of the losses.
The TSA policy no doubt is hurting the economy. The debilitating effects of the policy coupled with the poor state of the economy, and the activities of Niger Delta terrorists, the TSA was the final straw that strangulated the economy. The TSA is one of the means the current administration is using to fight corruption but what good is fighting corruption if the average man on the street is hungry. No doubt millions of people have lost jobs because of this blighted economic policy. Although fighting corruption is good but it should not be at the expense of the common man who has no hand in the destruction of our national treasury. There should be a balance between fighting corruption and reviving the economy.
During the retreat on the economy last week, President Buhari tasked his ministers to think out of the box to revive the economy and my suggestion is that the first thing the government needs to do is to suspend the TSA policy till a period when we start seeing the fruits of diversification, not now that oil still remains the live wire of the economy.
According to experts, the normal thing to do in a recession is to inject cash into the economy to reflate the it but in a typical Nigerian style, instead of injecting money into the economy, the opposite is the case as MDAs and banks are starved of funds through the TSA thereby worsening an already bad situation. Apart from banks, most industries were casualties of the TSA.
There Is A Better Way
Criticism is good, especially when it is constructive in order to get people to mend their ways. But I am sure there are better ways of doing everything. Lately, the former CBN governor and Emir of Kano, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi criticised President Muhammadu Buhari on some of his economic policies.
While there is nothing wrong in criticising the government of the day, the way and manner the Emir went about it is a serious cause for concern. My take on this is that, with unrestricted access to the Presidential Villa, and personal telephone number of the president, the emir should have either visited the president silently or simply called him on the phone.
No one will doubt that the Emir loves this nation to a fault as everyone has seen or heard of his commitment to ensure that the banking sector operated using best practices, when he was at the CBN. As an emir, he means well for his people and the nation at large but he can handle this move in a better way.
President Buhari recently told the Alaafin of Oyo when the latter paid him a visit at the Presidential Villa that traditional rulers should forward all their counsels to the government in writing. This is a welcome development and I am sure the Emir and other traditional rulers in the country will do just that.
Theft At FRSC
The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) and Vehicle Inspection Offices (VIO) were established to ensure sanity on our roads, and I think their presence constitutes duplication of duties.
Recently, a colleague of mine was arrested for driving with an expired driver’s licence and his car impounded and was told to go and pay fine.
After paying the fine, he went to the FRSC office to get his car back. Alas, when he got there, he discovered that his battery had been stolen, right in the FRSC office.