*Reps Threaten SDPC M.D With Arrest
From Kemi Yesufu, Abuja
Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun on Monday, disclosed that the Treasury Single Account (TSA) as at 9th February, 2018 contained the sum of over N8.9 trillion revenue.
Speaking at the investigative hearing into the money accrued into the TSA by a House of Representatives adhoc committee, Adeosun, who was represented by the Accountant General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris, told the committee that annually, a total sum of N480 billion is being saved since the introduction of the TSA policy in 2015 under the the Buhari administration.
The committee set up to monitor performance of the TSA policy, in a bid to avoid the manipulation of the TSA, had submitted its interim report and expected to conclude and submit its final report within a month.
According to the minister, before the implementation of the TSA policy, over N70 billion of government funds was lost to leakages through 17,000 accounts operated by MDAs.
The minister further explained that the amount given lawmakers was remitted through 1,634 MDAs’ main accounts and 3,118 sub-accounts captured in the TSA as at 22nd March, 2018.
Approval for the exemption of some accounts was given by Mr. President, including West African Examination Council (WAEC) and Joint Venture Accounts of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) because of other partners involved in the operations of these accounts, Adeosun further explained.
The accounts are being operated with certain Deposit Money Banks Adeosun said.
The minister also told the lawmakers, that the policy became effective in compliance with the provisions of Sections 80 and 162 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) and enforced through circular with Ref. No: 428/S1/120 of 7th August, 2015.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) used its enforcement power to compel erring MDAs to comply with the TSA policy, she added.
Responding to questions on the security and ownership of various ICT public finance platforms including: Remita, GFMIS ad IPPIS, the minister assured that necessary measures have been taken to ensure that the independent consultants engaged for provision of the platforms do not have access to the security code.
On the cost associated with the implementation of the TSA policy, she noted that fund was provided in the 2017 Appropriation Act and 2018 budget estimates presently before the National Assembly.
The Ad-hoc Committee mandated the CBN to provide details of the money realised from the charges on in-bound and outbound payments into the TSA within 24 hours, while the Minister is to furnish details of the amount proposed in the budget within 24 hours.
On the N7.6 billion refund paid back to the MDAs through the CBN, the minister while responding to a question revealed that the amount was refunded by SystemSpecs in line with the directive of the Senate during the investigative hearing conducted in 2016.
SystemSpecs she said has not been paid its due charges for service rendered for over two years, she added.
Idris on his part, said he personally requested for list of MDAs that the Auditor General wanted to audit and provide the access, saying he had adviced the Auditor General on the need to adopt an ICT platform.
According to him, the N7.6 billion was approved and paid by CBN to the MDAs through a platform called T24 without his approval.
SystemSpecs’ Executive Director, Deremi Atanda, said in he agreement signed in 2011 by CBN, service provider and other partners get 60 percent, while the apex bank collects 40 percent of the charges.
In spite of the Presidential approval for the payment of the outstanding N10 billion charges for over two years, the Ministry of Finance and oAGF have not paid the money since October 2015 to September 2016, he said, not even when the N7.6 billion was refunded to the CBN.
CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, was represented by Abubakar Kure, Director, Banking and Payments System Department.
He told lawmakers that the Federation Account gets revenue accrued from the 13 Joint Ventures in conjunction with other partners, while various amounts reflected in the operational banks’ details were deposited as Cash Call by NNPC and other operators.
In his ruling, chairman of the Ad-hoc Committee, Rep. Abubakar Damburrau, said the NNPC Group Finance Director, Isiaka Abdukrasak should ensure the attendance of the NPDC Managing Director at the next hearing session.
The NNPC must also present within the next 48 hours details of the monies accrued into the Brass LNG account.
Should the NPDC Managing Director refuse to show up at the next hearing session, the Committee will issue a warrant of arrest to compel him to attend, he stressed.