20,000 accounts belonging to MDAs closed – Accountant-general
DMO to float bond for small savers
The federal government has generated a whooping N5.244 trillion through the Treasury Single Account (TSA) since the commencement of the policy in August 2015 till date.
One year after its implementation, the TSA policy conceived in 2012, which waited until August 2015 to be implemented, for lack of political will, has also closed 20,000 bank accounts belonging to government ministries, agencies and parastatals (MDAs).
Accountant General of the Federation (AGF), Ahmed Idris, who gave the hint at a two-day retreat to review the TSA implementation said although the Goodluck Jonathan administration wasted time in implementing the policy, it has now saved the Buhari administration trillions of naira.
Idris noted that, while the TSA implementation has recorded significant progress since its inception in August 2015, the adoption of the policy has ensured transparency and effective tracking of government revenues.
He said, “The issuance of the TSA circular in August 2015, coupled with the political will and enforcement, enabled us to achieve considerable progress on the TSA implementation. As at February 10, 2017, the total inflow of funds through the mop-up and direct debits by CBN amounted to N5.244 trillion.
“The TSA has brought considerable gains to the federal government and to the Nigerian economy. We have successfully eliminated multiple banking arrangements; which were spread over deposit money banks across the country. This has further brought about transparency and effective tracking of government revenues. It has also led to blockage of leakages and abuse, which characterised the public finance management before implementation of TSA.”
The AGF added that the TSA has taken the nation out of the era of indiscriminate borrowings which amounted to an average of N4.7 billion monthly prior to full implementation of the programme.
According to him, though considerable gains had been made in the TSA implementation, there was need to evaluate the programme and identify most feasible ways to take it to the desired level, even as he stressed that ways of exploring the full potentials of TSA utilisation and deployment, particularly under the present economic recession should be explored.
On the gains of shutting other accounts belonging to MDAs, Idris said, “We have successfully eliminated multiple banking arrangements, resulting into consolidation of over 20,000 bank accounts, which were spread over Deposit Money Banks across the country. This has further brought about transparency and effective tracking of government revenues”.
Meanwhile, Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun said the federal government is determined to expand the coverage of the Treasury Single Account (TSA) to cover more agencies this year.
She described the implementation of the TSA policy as a success story, adding that the government was going to consolidate on the success achieved to expand the programme and continue to persuade statutory agencies to come under it.
According to her, the federal government was already discussing with service providers and would improve the implementation and functionality of the TSA because of its huge benefits.
The minister also stated that the government would be reaching out to TSA service providers in order to allow other e-commerce and e-payment providers access the platform, which, according to her, is very important to make the TSA as competitive as possible, in terms of pricing.
“One of the challenges that we have is who should bear the cost of the TSA? Currently, it is being borne centrally but that is not sustainable. We are now working on how to stratify the various agencies. Those who should bear their own costs and costs that should be borne by the government. This will be rolled out this year,” Adeosun stated.
On the broader benefits of the TSA, she emphasised that the federal government, through the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation, had issued circulars to banks arising from revelations through the implementation of the whistleblower policy, that some banks had not fully remitted government funds in their possession.
“There are still funds in commercial banks and we have written to the banks, giving them a window to come forward. Where in doubt, they have been asked to consult us. We also have an audit team that has started the process of checking the completeness of monies that were transferred into the TSA and already, they have been able to recover a significant amount of money,” the minister said.
She further stated that the TSA policy is here to stay, saying the policy, which she described as an important reform of the current administration, allows government to reduce its borrowing costs.
Her words: “The policy allows us to manage our treasury functions with far more accuracy than what we had in the past. There is still a long way to go but overall, we are very satisfied with the progress we have made and we look forward to it being extended and utilised far more as the year goes on.”
Earlier, Acting President Yemi Osinbajo noted that the TSA has improved the visibility of government revenues and cash flows.
Osinbajo who was represented by the special assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Economic Matters, Dr Adeyemi Dipeolu, described the TSA as pivotal to the sound allocation of government funds.
The event was tagged: ‘One year anniversary of Treasury Single Account: Benefits, challenges and way forward’.
DMO To Float Bond For Small Savers
As part of ongoing efforts to mobilise resources from the public for the various development projects across the country, the federal government through the Debt Management Office (DMO) is issuing a savings bond with elapsing period of between two to three years.
Savings bonds are debt instruments usually offered by sovereigns with the aim of mobilising resources from the general public, especially individuals and small savers.
This was disclosed yesterday in Abuja by the Director General of DMO, Dr Abraham Nwankwo, while briefing newsmen on the bond as well as the recently concluded Eurobond that was successfully issued for institutional investors and high net worth individuals.
The size of the investment is a minimum of N5,000 in multiples of N1,000, subject to a maximum of N50 million at a competitive fixed interest rate that would be announced by DMO on the first working day of every month or as may be determined from time to time.
Explaining the rationale for the issuance of the savings bond by the government, he said that it was borne out of the desire to deepen the national savings culture, diversify funding sources for the government and establish a benchmark for other issuers.
Nwankwo further said that the issuance of the savings bond would commence before the end of the first quarter of 2017 added that every month, the subscription would open the same day the price was announced and investors would have five working days to put in their subscriptions through their distribution agents.
The DMO chief also said that investors could subscribe through stockbroking firms trading on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) accredited by DMO to act as distribution agents.
According to him, over 100 stockbroking firms have already been accredited for this purpose.