IMF applauds Nigeria for successful TSA implementation

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SWITZERLAND, MAY 13(TODAY’S ECHO) – The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has applauded Nigeria for the successful implementation of the Treasury Single Account (TSA) policy, which ensures that the Federal Government centralizes its account system.

The commendation was mentioned during a visit by a delegation from the Gambia to understudy Nigeria’s implementation of the IMF-recommended TSA policy.

The Gambian delegation led by the West-African country’s Accountant General, Momodou Lamin Bah, met in Abuja with some government officials, including the Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, Accountant General of the Federation, represented by Director of funds OAGF, Muhammad Usman, and Director of TSA, Sylva Okolieaboh on Monday. They were taken through series of presentations and discussions on Nigeria’s experience in TSA initiation and implementation.

Momodu Lamin Bah explained why Gambia decided to understudy Nigeria’s TSA example, noting that Nigeria is a big brother to Gambia, and that its success with TSA has been a source of reference at the IMF.

According to him, “We have reference from the International Monetary Fund, citing Nigeria’s tremendous success in implementing the treasury single account. I was looking at their (IMF) online PFM course (Public Financial Management), and Nigeria specifically is showcased there for successful implementation of the Treasury Single Account. So, we didn’t have a second choice… We call Nigeria our big brother. When a small brother wants something, he will ask the big brother.”  

The Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed explained how the TSA works to the Gambian delegates, describing the functions of the system and the benefits it has brought to the country.

According to her, “the TSA seats in the Central Bank; the account holder is the Ministry of Finance, as well as each agency that has a sub account; and the transactions are driven by a platform we call Remita, and remittances are done through Remita to the Central Bank.”

She also encouraged the delegates and their Nigerian counterparts to learn from each other.

The Director, TSA at the Office of the Accountant-General, Sylva Okolieaboh, who is one of the key figures as far as Nigeria’s TSA is concerned, noted that no policy of government in Nigeria’s history has been as successful as the TSA in terms of implementation, and that is why Gambia, and very soon, Ethiopia willing be coming to learn from Nigeria’s TSA example.

According to Okolieaboh, “If there is any policy that the government has supported 100%, it is the TSA. It is one reform that every incoming government has always supported. However, I must say that the success we have recorded so far has been because the President and the Federal Government has supported TSA 100%.”

Discussing on the technological facility used in powering the TSA programme, Okolieaboh lauded SystemSpecs, owners of Remita- the indigenous Fintech solution behind TSA for their tremendous infrastructural support towards in helping the process.

According to him, “SystemSpecs has facilitated a whole lot. In fairness to SystemSpecs, when the President gave the order for TSA to commence almost immediately in 2015, it was SystemSpecs that stepped in to make that possible. If they did not provide their platform as at that time, I don’t think it would have been possible.”

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