Review charges for the running of TSA, group urges government, CBN
United Global Resolve For Peace (UGRFP), a non-governmental organisation, has urged the Federal Government and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to as a matter of urgency review and reverse the exorbitant charges where Nigerians have to pay for the running of the Treasury Single Account (TSA).
The NGO, also demanded that all erring agencies that have benefitted from the payment process be investigated and prosecuted immediately, adding that an awareness campaign be undertaken by the Federal Government amongst all its Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to properly emphasize the operation of the TSA.
The Executive Director of the NGO, Shalom Olaseni, in a statement made available to The Guardian yesterday in Abuja, said the initiative has an unintended benefit that helps the government to save about N40 billion monthly, which would have been otherwise unaccounted for, adding that many agencies, especially the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) have benefited from the scheme in terms of accountability, informed financial decision and also ease of payment of government revenue.
According to him, despite the instruction by President Buhari that all MDAs should remit all the money logged in commercial banks to the TSA through Remita, some agencies like the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) has refused to use this technology that promotes transparency and accountability for obvious reasons.
Olaseni said, “Ordinarily, one would expect the government that benefits so much from this scheme not only to continue to honor the agreement they had with Systemspecs but also to encourage other agencies to comply to this unified Treasury Single Account payment gateway. Instead, the government has abdicated the responsibility of paying for the cost of running of this scheme and in the process levied the citizens with the burden of payment.”
“Nigeria’s government reneged on their contract because it considered the 1 percent charge as too expensive but has no problem with passing down the burden on Nigerian citizens saddled with the current economic realities of sometimes having to pay more than 150 percent fee on money paid to the government,” he added.
He however, called on the government and the CBN for a periodic compliance sheet to be prepared so as to monitor the success of the TSA scheme, saying the it is a revolutionary fiscal policy that must not die a slow death owing to the refusal of government agencies to duly adhere to its process.