Uche Usim, Abuja
The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed has described the implementation of the Treasury Single Account (TSA) as a huge success, revealing that gross collection between August 2015 and February this year stands at N19 trillion.
She also noted that initiative saves the Federal Government over N45 billion monthly on bank interest payment, amid efforts to expand the scope.
Speaking on Tuesday in Abuja at the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Nigeria and the Republic of Gambia, the Minister noted that TSA implementation has resulted in improved cash management capabilities, better alignment of borrowing with aggregate bank balance, mitigation of risks of inflation, ability to determine FG’s consolidated cash position, better control and oversight, among other benefits.
She encouraged the Gambian delegation to work assiduously to institutionalize TSA as it remains a catalyst for economic growth.
According to her, the cooperation with the Gambian Government seeks to deepen collaboration in information sharing and technical skills deployment in public financial management reforms.
“By so doing, The Gambia is properly guided as it implements its own TSA. The cooperation will enable The Gambia to leverage on the experience of Nigeria to build on our strengths while avoiding our mistakes.
“Implementation of TSA has benefited Nigeria immensely. On the monetary policy side, we have better control over money supply and therefore able rein in inflation and undue pressure on the Naira.
“Our foreign reserve position has also recorded appreciable improvement through the consolidation of Federal Government foreign currency earnings under the TSA. It is my expectation that The Gambia will enjoy all of these benefits if they diligently implement TSA.
“Judging by the passion so far shown by The Gambia, I have no doubt that they are on the right path to a successful TSA implementation”, Ahmed explained.
She advised the Gambian delegation “to secure strong political support to deal with the heavy lifting that comes with PFM reforms”.
The Minister asked the Gambian Government to jettison TSA implementation if it was not confident of the buy-in of the topmost political leadership.
“It is the most potent antidote against the several headwinds that will try to undermine and derail your reform effort.
“Next in line is to assemble the right team of competent and committed reformers with in-depth knowledge of PFM. Upon that team will rest the responsibility of translating policy into action and by so doing, ensuring that your TSA expectations are met.
“There are more factors at play. You need, for instance, the financial resources and an enabling environment to drive reforms. The importance of synergy between the fiscal and monetary authorities cannot be over-emphasized. Equally important is the cooperation of other stakeholders: the parliament; the ministries, departments and agencies of government; the banks and service providers” the Minister added.
In her remarks, Mrs Ada Gaye, Permanent Secretary, Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs of The Gambia said that the MoU will go a long way to boost the economy of her country as the TSA seeks to end fractious financial management.
She noted that fragmented accounts have led to financing gaps.
“Unifying accounts will improve cash management and control, service delivery and cash control. We have a long way to go but we’re making progress. Sensitisation is ongoing and has reached an advanced stage. “So, signing MoU will boost mutual brotherly relationship between both nations”, she noted.
Also speaking at the MoU signing ceremony, Mr Folashodun Adebisi Sonubi, Deputy Governor, Operations of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), stated that the Gambian Central Bank has a pivotal role to play in ensuring that TSA succeeds in The Gambia.
“The benefits are immense and we are always willing to share our experience, pains and gains”, he said.