BY EDMOND ODOK, ABUJA – Away from the stiff resistance and controversy that trailed its implementation, the Federal Government has harvested more than 30 trillion as turnover from the Treasury Single Account (TSA) in the last seven years.
This is even as the government says moves are on-going to ensure revenue generated in different currencies by foreign missions are fully captured into the TSA
Accountant-General of the Federation (AGF), Idris Ahmed, who gave the figure in Abuja, however said the amount is only in terms of recorded transactions and not the cash balance.
Represented by Director of Funds, Mohammed K. Usman, the AGF spoke during a study visit by Gambian delegates in the country.
According to him; “From 2012 when we started the full implementation of the TSA, and if you are looking at the volume of transactions, I think you will be looking at something in the region of N30 trillion.
“But that is in terms of transaction volume, not in terms of balances or anything. So, if we are looking at turnover, it should be over N30 trillion.”
Ahmed, who described the TSA as ‘a fluid account’, said; “it will be difficult to state specifically how much is in the account at any point in time”.
The AGF stated that given the milestones achieved through the TSA, The Gambians have a lot to learn from Nigeria’s public finance management initiatives.
In her remarks at the event, Minister of Finance, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, acknowledged the controversy surrounding current moves to bring foreign missions’ earnings into the TSA,
She explained that government was considering different options to capture all accruals by foreign missions to into a single account.
Mrs Ahmed however admitted that major challenges have arisen in the course of seeking to harvest revenue generated in different currencies by foreign missions for full compliance with provisions of the TSA.
The Minister said, to address the existing challenges; “The government is looking at a different option to interface with TSA for foreign missions.”
She also informed The Gambian delegation that balances in the TSA are regularly reconciled to keep pace with the fluidity of daily cash flow and transactions.
Mrs Ahmed urged the delegation to take full advantage of their two-week study tour by visiting some states in the country that have implemented different variations of the TSA from that of the Federal Government.
In her speech, the Permanent Secretary in The Gambian Ministry of Finance and National Planning, Madam Ada Gaye, said they were in Nigeria to learn from how the country has managed its TSA.
Ada Gaye said the study tour was part of measures aimed at strengthening the on-going public finance reforms in her country, especially in relations to funds’ monitoring.
Similarly, the Accountant General of The Gambia, Mr. Momodou Lamin Bah, said they were in Nigeria to understudy TSA management, having received recommendation of its robustness and efficiency from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Lamin Bah stated that by IMF’s standard, Nigeria’s TSA presents a reference point for other African countries to rely on in developing their home-grown TSA structures.
He said the team from Gambia was financed by the European Union (EU) for the study tour, adding that the EU is also impressed by the remarkable handling of revenue collection model in Nigeria.