Nigerian government to suspend all withdrawals from TSA

Edwin Akwueh, Abuja

The Nigerian government has announced that it will suspend all withdrawals by Ministries, Departments and Agencies from the Treasury Single Account (TSA) by the end of March, 2016.

The Minister of Finance, Madam Kemi Adeosun disclosed this while defending the budget of the ministry before the Senate Committee on Finance. Madam Adeosun who was responding to queries by the committee on the irregular balances in the TSA account said that both income and expenditure occur on the account on a daily basis.

She however said that the ministry was already working to determine what figures in the account represented liabilities so as to know what will be brought forward to fund the 2016 budget.

“The TSA is the Bank account of the MDAs, we are starting the process of drawing a line and March is the deadline. In March we will be able to make sure that we say to those agencies, of your balance in TSA how much is capital, how much is accumulated surplus of the past, how much is tied to liabilities.

 

That process we have started and we are engaging with the agencies and from that we will be able to identify how much can now be used to fund the budget. But the TSA balances changes on a daily basis because of revenues and monies being paid out, so we are drawing a line.”

The finance Minister disclosed that despite the changes to the TSA account, the balance had stood at about =N=2.2 trillion. She said that before the end of the financial year on March 31, 2016, the ministry would have determined what amount of the money is actually liability and what amount is available.

Madam Adeosun added that a lot of the aspects of the TSA would still undergo modifications to address specific needs. She said that the ministry was also harnessing all other possible revenue streams and leakages that can be accrued to fund the budget 2016.

“We believe those revenues will come in and form part of the Internally Generated Revenues (IGR) of government. The other recoveries that we are expecting is that we are looking at those pensions and salaries, we have identified that there is a consistent overpayment of pension contributions. We have put a team together now to start recovering those overpayments because we have identified some inflation in our payroll, of course that inflation translates into pensions contributions.

Those monies can be recovered and they are going to be recovered to form part of the IGR of the Federal Government,” she added.

Performance Based Remuneration

The Minister also advocated for performance based remuneration for men of the Nigerian Customs Service so as to discourage corruption. She said that the ministry was also looking into customs duty waivers that had been granted to determine their benefit and recommend for a revocation where such waivers does not benefit Nigeria.

In his contribution to the Finance Minister’s advocacy, the Comptroller General of the Nigerian Customs Service, Hameed Ali noted that big companies like Dangote and Stallion had no business being granted waivers.

 

According to Mr. Ali, “if the big companies were given waivers, is it the smaller companies that should then pay custom duties,” he queried.

The Customs boss also expressed displeasure at the remuneration of men of the service stressing that some other non-revenue generating agencies of government receive better salaries that men of the Service.

 

Nnenna.O