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MDAs, banks under pressure as TSA deadline ends

Some government agencies, departments and banks are under intense pressure to escape tomorrow’s deadline by President Muhammadu Buhari on the compliance of Treasury Single Account…

Some government agencies, departments and banks are under intense pressure to escape tomorrow’s deadline by President Muhammadu Buhari on the compliance of Treasury Single Account implementation, Daily Trust gathered.
Up till Friday, some   agencies were  yet to migrate their accounts to the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF) domiciled in the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) due to one reason or another.
It was gathered that agencies and their banks were trying to meet the deadline due to the pressure from the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation (OAGF), CBN and the office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation.
The Accountant General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris insisted on Friday that the deadline would not only be met, but implemented fully.
Hundreds of agencies have still not migrated to the TSA.
Some of them, Daily Trust learnt that they claimed not to be affected by the new policy while others are making frantic efforts to meet the deadline today or tomorrow.
It was gathered that most of the MDAs are against the TSA for fear of losing control of monies they have stationed in their choice banks’ accounts.
The TSA is a unified structure of bank account enabling consolidation of government’s revenue to avoid delay in remittances and expenditure planning.
The policy would also help government to block leakages in revenue and increase transparency and efficiency, according to the Accountant General of the Federation.
 It was gathered that some agencies stationed the revenue they generated in fixed deposit accounts where fat interests accrues and are siphoned.
Also, it was gathered  that banks also benefited from such funds by using it to buy government securities such as treasury bills, certificates and bonds to make quick returns.
Some analysts fear that the policy may worsen the liquidity challenges of the banks which they have not recovered since the fall of crude oil price in the global market that led to reduction of Nigeria’s income by about 50 percent.
It was learnt that tomorrow’s deadline was not the first on TSA. TSA and the Government  Integrated Financial Management Information System (GIFMIS) were introduce in April 2012, and many MDAs did not comply despite severally warnings and deadlines issued by the office of the Accountant General of the Federation.
Since last year, the Federal Government kept postponing the policy due to non-compliance. In one of the circulars, the OAGF gave a February 28, 2015 deadline. The circular said the implementation of the TSA will free more revenue from the MDAs to government for other projects.
“This time is different, they will find it difficult to escaped, or they will face severe consequences if they do so because of the seriousness President Muhammadu Buhari attached to the policy, a source said.
It was gathered that the heads of revenue generating agencies and their parent ministries are not comfortable with the TSA regime because it will limit their control over the funds they are making which in most cases they use to finance some extra budgetary expenses, a source at the ministry of finance told Daily Trust.
“It is either they comply or be ready to face the wrath of the president,” the source said.
The idea of treasury single account came into being when some agencies refused to declare and remit the 25 percent of their annual revenue they generated to the treasury as demanded by law.
In 2012 about N120 billion was forcefully collected by government from MDAs being 25 percent of their gross revenue to the treasury with another N34 billion was collected in 2013. Before then, most of the MDAs were reluctant to remit the requested amounts by law to the treasury.
Last week, the Revenue Mobilization and Fiscal Commission released an audit report which indicted some banks for withholding about N12 billion revenue collected on behalf of the Nigerian Customs Service and Federal Inland Revenue Service.
The revenue according to the commission is stashed in 19 banks from January 2008 to June 2012.
The chairman, Non- Oil Committee of the Commission, Rev Ajibola  Fagboyegun demanded for urgent return of the funds by the banks to avoid sanctions.

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