Despite the Federal Government’s apparent insensitivity to calls for massive sensitization of the citizenry on the Treasury Single Account(TSA), the policy is still one of the greatest initiatives in the history of public administration in Nigeria. Today, Nigerians are calling for increased compliance by government-owned outfit to the TSA.
TSA unites all federal government accounts into one bank account and enables a unified structure of government financial management. It enhances the transparency of the government’s banking arrangements by ensuring that all end-of-the-day balances are electronically recorded.
Since 2015, when the Federal Government mandated all Ministries, Departments, and Agencys(MDAs) to comply with the TSA, the policy has created some major shifts, including the closing down of over 20 multiple accounts MDAs had with commercial banks. It now saves the government N24.7 billion monthly.
Although the Buhari-led government continues to tout it as one of the successes of the regime, framework for the TSA had already been set, as recommended by the World bank during the regime of president Goodluck Jonathan.
Nevertheless, TSA is 4 years already in Nigeria, yet the policy continues to be threatened by a number of factors, including insensitivity of government. The threats faced by this laudable initiative were echoed recently by a Non-Governmental organization; Africa Leadership Strategy and Transparency Development Initiative (ALSTDI) in a statement released to the media.
In its statement, the ALSDI expressed its dissatisfaction with the level of non-compliance to the TSA policy amongst MDAs. The group therefore, urged the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) to extend its ongoing probe of MDAs to include their level of compliance to the TSA. The group also implored the Federal Government to explain its decision to transfer the burden of transacting with the TSA to the citizens in line with international transparency best practices.
“It is indubitable that the implementation of the Treasury Single Account policy is one of the most significant achievements of the current Federal Government administration. Media reports are rife on how it has drastically improved accountability and transparency; and delivering a monthly savings of about N24.7 billion thereby “saving the nation from collapse” according to the Minister of Information and Culture. This feat is despite the alleged non-compliance or partial compliance by certain MDAs and exclusion of foreign accounts from the scheme. Therefore, the need arises for ICPC to openly investigate the level of adherence to the policy by MDAs in order to consolidate on the remarkable achievement of the policy thus far,” the statement partly reads.
The calls from this group underline the challenges faced by this laudable initiative which both the government and the opposition have acclaimed.