Accountant General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris, has revealed that the Federal Government on a monthly basis save about N4.7 billion that would have been spent on bank charges following its introduction of the Treasury Single Account (TSA).
Idris gave this figure while speaking at a two-day workshop for finance journalists on the TSA and other public financial management reforms in Abuja.
He said the amount represents the various charges, interest on loans and account maintenance fees that were hitherto imposed by the Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) for holding funds belonging to government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).
Recall that the government had in September 2015, directed all its MDAs to move all accounts from DMBs to the TSA as part of the public financial management reforms. According to him, the government has saved about N108.1 billion between September 2015 and July 2017.
The initiative, which was used by the Buhari administration to unify all its accounts, has seen over 900 agencies of the government comply with 20,000 bank accounts closed while over N5 trillion had been moved from banks to the CBN.
The AGF said the government has been able to block leakages and avoid various bank charges on government funds with the policy.
“The TSA has enabled us to make tremendous gains. We have successfully eliminated multiple banking arrangements resulting in consolidation of over 20,000 bank accounts, which were spread over DMBs across the country,” he said.
“This has further brought about transparency and effective tracking of government revenues. It has also led to the blocking of leakages and abuse, which characterised the public financial management before the implementation of the TSA.
According to him, “the TSA has taken us out of the era of indiscriminate borrowings by the MDAs and saved government charges associated with those borrowings, which hitherto amounted to N4.7 billion monthly.”
Giving reasons for the workshop, Idris said it was part of efforts to increase knowledge on why the Federal Government opted to carry out the public finance management reforms, adding that a major objective was to support the fight against corruption.
Recall that a Federal High Court in Lagos recently ordered seven commercial banks to remit funds belonging to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to the TSA after government accused them of withholding funds meant for the TSA. All banks except Skye Bank denied holding funds, although the suit has since been withdrawn by the Federal Government.