Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Treasury Single Account: MDAs Rush To Beat Today’s Deadline

Treasury Single Account: MDAs Rush To Beat Today’s Deadline 
 
To escape the wrath of President Muhmmadu Buhari, some of the over 100 Ministries, Departments and Agencies of government (MDAs) were in a rush, yesterday, to beat the deadline to open Treasury Single Accounts, TSA, with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

Leading parastatals that had complied with the directive, as of press time, yesterday, included the Customs Service, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA), Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA),  Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA),  Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) and  Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC).

It was not clear, yesterday, if the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), the country’s main revenue generator, has complied with the directive as the officers in-charge were yet to respond to Vanguard’s phone calls and text messages at press time.
CBN Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele

CBN Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele

The order was first made on August 7, 2015 and was repeated with a warning on September 4 following partial compliance by the agencies.  The measure is part of President Buhari’s bid to maintain accountability and stamp out corruption in the public service system.

A circular issued to all MDAs of the Federal Government by the Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Mr. Danladi Kifasi, had urged the MDAs to ensure strict compliance with the deadline to avoid sanctions.

The circular dated September 4, 2015, entitled “Re: Introduction of Treasury Single Account (TSA) (e-Collection of Government Receipts)” stated: “Further to the Circular Ref. No. HCSF/428/S.1/120 of August 7, 2015 on the above subject matter, it has been observed that a number of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of the Federal Government are yet to comply with the directive therein.

“In this regard, Mr. President has directed that all MDAs are to comply with the instructions on the Treasury Single Account (TSA) unfailingly by Tuesday, September 15, 2015.  Heads of MDAs and other arms of government are enjoined to give this circular the widest circulation and ensure strict compliance to avoid sanctions.”

The TSA is also to aid transparency and facilitate compliance with Sections 80 and 162 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended). Kifasi re-directed that all receipts due to the Federal Government or any of her agencies shall be paid into the TSA as follows: Account Name: Accountant General (Federal Sub-Treasury), Account No. 3000002095 maintained in the CBN, except otherwise expressly approved.

TSA is a unified structure of government bank accounts enabling consolidation and optimal utilization of government cash resources. It is a bank account or a set of linked bank accounts through which the government transacts all its receipts and payments and gets a consolidated view of its cash position at any given time.

MDAs rushing to beat deadline – CBN

Speaking on the issue, yesterday, CBN Director, Corporate Communication, Alhaji Ibrahim Muazu said the MDAs are responding, adding that by the end of today all of them would have complied. His words:  “There is a rush to meet the deadline tomorrow (today). They have been on it. The statement that they are rushing to beat the deadline cannot be wrong. They have been trying to meet the deadline. The CBN expects full compliance by today.”

FIRS has no issue with TSA

The FIRS is one of the agencies that have complied according to its Director, Corporate Communication, Mr. Emmanuel Ebota. He said: ‘’FIRS has no issue with  the new directive, right from the start, its account has been with the CBN to which revenue is remitted on a regular basis.”

We’re are TSA compliant – NIMASA

Director-General of NIMASA, Mr Haruna Baba Jauro, during a courtesy visit to the corporate head office of Vanguard, yesterday, said his agency has fully complied with the presidential directive.

“NIMASA is fully compliant. We have gone to the CBN, they have opened our account. We have given our banks the mandate and we have provided all our banks with the platform. We have no issue with that. The only issue we have is tomorrow, our staff will have to go to Abuja again to clarify the issue of how to get our money out. That is where we are,” he said

NCS complies with FG single account policy

The Nigerian Customs Service, NCS, yesterday, also disclosed that it has fully complied with the policy. Public Relations Officer of the Service, Deputy Comptroller Wale Adeniyi in a phone conversation with Vanguard said that the NCS was one of the first organizations in the country to comply with the policy.

“The importers do online declaration and online payment as well. The banks do online transaction to the Customs Service account in the apex bank. We have already complied with the new directive,” he explained.

Aviation agencies, Nigerian Shippers Council comply

Speaking with Vanguard on phone, the Managing Director of Nigerian Airspace Management Agency, NAMA  Engr. Ibrahim Abdulsalam, said his agency is complying with the Presidential directives.  According to him, “every parastatal is complying with the directives from the President. Although this is an internal administrative matter that I cannot discuss with you on phone.”

Also speaking, the Deputy General  Manager, Public Affairs, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, Mr Sam Adurogboye, said: “As a responsible organization, we have fully complied.”

In like manner, Mr Hassan Bello,  executive secretary, Nigerian Shippers Council, said: “We have complied; we have since opened the account. We have given directive to our banks to that effect since yesterday (Monday). The account officer has been at it for long. He has been in Abuja since last week. We have opened account for Nigerian Shippers Council, NSC, with the CBN.”

TSA: We have complied 100%  –  FCTA

The Federal Capital Territory Administration, FCTA disclosed, yesterday, that it has complied 100 per cent with the directives.

In a text message to Vanguard, the Chief Press Secretary, FCTA, Sule Muhammad said: “As an obedient servant, FCTA has complied with the directive 100 per cent.”

NPA, NEITI, Immigration also comply

Contacted, Captain Ihenacho Ebubeogu, General Manager, Public Affairs, NPA, told  Vanguard that the Nigerian Ports Authority complied with the directive more than three weeks ago, adding that the authority has directed its bankers to remit all its revenue to its account with the CBN. ‘That is an old story, NPA complied about a month ago,’’ he stressed.

Similarly, the Nigeria Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative, NEITI, said it has fully complied with the directive.

Mr. Ogbonnaya Orji, Director, Communications, NEITI, stated that the agency supports the TSA initiative and has complied with the policy.

According to him, this becomes necessary as the policy is at the crux of NEITI’s campaign for transparency and prudent management of the country’s resources.

He explained that the policy of the Treasury Single Account is a welcome development and that NEITI would make legitimate effort to see that the policy works.

King Egbedeme, the spokesman of the Nigeria Immigration Service, also confirmed that his organization has complied.

According to him, “It is a presidential directive which has to be complied with.”

The story was the same at the National Universities Commission, NUC. Director, Information and Public Relations, Ibrahim Yakassai told our reporter that the commission had complied.

However, the PRO, of the Universal Basic Education, UBEC, Mr Osom Osom, said he was yet to confirm from the Director of Finance. He promised to respond appropriately after confirming from the director.