From Kemi Yesufu, Abuja
THE House of Representatives has inaugurated a 10-man Ad-hoc Committee to investigate the N2.9 trillion in the Treasury Single Account (TSA).
The committee was also mandated to ascertain the actual amount accrued so far, government’s plans on spending and the various agencies from which such funds were obtained.
To this end, the committee will liaise with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and other relevant agencies to investigate how the account has been managed.
The resolution was passed following the adoption of a motion on the ‘need to ascertain the proceeds of the Treasury Single Account (TSA) to enhance transparency accountability and good governance,’ sponsored by Adamu Kamale.
In his lead debate, Kamale, who applauded the successful implementation of the pilot TSA scheme which was launched in 2012, noted that 217 ministries, departments and agencies (MDA) were used as case study.
He added that the present administration, however, demonstrated the political will to fully implement the TSA effective September 15, 2015, leading to a directive to banks to implement the technology platform that would help accommodate all MDAs in the scheme.
“We are aware of the disclosure by the Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, on March 3, 2016, that, from the execution of the TSA, a balance of N2.9 trillion has been accumulated from the MDAs.
“It is, however, worrisome that despite the laudable commitment of the current administration to combat corrupt practices, eliminate waste in public finance and ensure adequate fund flow that will be channeled to critical sectors of the economy to facilitate development, some establishments are still left out of the TSA platform.
“It is equally of concern that while Section 80 (1) of the constitution regarding maintenance of Federation Account provides a broad legal framework, it does not address the operational details, and concerns have been raised by the Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMFAC) about the possible sharing of TSA funds among the tiers of government.
“While there is no clear operational details as regards the management of the funds accumulated in the TSA, the need for its urgent utilisation to discharge government commitments for development and good governance may be delayed to assess the anticipated impact of the policy.
“It is regrettable that the objectives of TSA to institutionalize transparency, accountability and fiscal discipline in public expenditure may be negated if the plan for its utilisation is not made public for purposes of accountability and transparency.
Minority Leader, Leo Ogor, Edward Pwajok and Solomon Anawhinawhi echoed Kamale’s positionwhich include concern over implementation of the policy.