Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Presidency, Senate, PDP in war of words over TSA

The Presidency and Peoples Democratic Party, PDP,  were, yesterday, locked in a war of words over the implementation of the Treasury Single Account, TSA, with the opposition alleging discrepancies in figures and facts about the TSA.

While the presidency firmly rebuffed insinuations of malpractices in the TSA, the Senate nevertheless insisted on pressing on with its investigation of the implementation of the TSA.

Also yesterday, the PDP picked on what it claimed as discrepancies in the accounts of the presidency and the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC on the reported meeting between President Muhammadu Buhari and officials of the commission. The opposition party alleged that INEC’s denial of the meeting despite affirmation of the meeting by presidential villa was reflective of the lack of trust in INEC’s ability to conduct a free and fair election in Kogi State this weekend.

Accusing the administration of double speak in its assertions on the TSA in a press conference in Abuja, yesterday, PDP spokesman, Chief Olisa Metuh said: “The PDP has watched with keen interest some disturbing recent development, particularly, the exchange of words between the National Assembly and the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Executive over the controversies surrounding the handling of the remittances in the Treasury Single Account (TSA) as well as the conflicting statements between the Presidency and INEC on the revelation of secret meetings between the two bodies on Kogi governorship election.

“On the controversies trailing the operations of the TSA, the conflicting statements emanating from the federal executive, via the minister of information and the CBN underscore the fear being raised by the Senate that there may have been underhand deals in the process.

“Whereas the Senate has ordered its committee on finance and public accounts to investigate the remitting and handling of N2.5 trillion into the TSA, the federal executive, through the minister of information, had earlier informed the nation that the sum of N1.4 trillion has been remitted, while the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) put its figure at below a trillion and announced an estimated collectable amount of N1.2 trillion.

“The PDP finds this discordant tune and Monday’s brazen attack by the minister of information on whistle blowers as completely unacceptable and contradictory of a government that rode to power on the garb of ‘Mr. Clean’.

“This is in addition to the fact that the firm handling the TSA remittances has been given the leeway to rake millions of naira into unknown purses from fees charged MDAs for training of their personnel involved in the TSA.

“The PDP challenges the present administration to show transparency and be bold and honest enough to come out clear on the remittances and operation of the TSA instead of trying to use the veneer of politics to hide the rot already simmering under the APC administration.”