Gambian Envoy Hails TSA Implementation, Describes Nigeria as Reference Point

Transaction volume hits N30tn

James Emejo in Abuja

The Director in charge of the Treasury Single Account (TSA) in the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation (OAGF), Mr. Sylva Okolieaboh has disclosed that the implementation of the TSA policy had pooled about N30 trillion transactions, with about N10 trillion passing through the account in terms of cash remittance and withdrawals.

This is as the Accountant General of The Gambia, Mr. Momodou Lamin Nah, said Nigeria is currently a global reference point in the successful implementation of TSA.

Okolieaboh gave the transaction figure during a visit by a delegation from The Gambia who are in the country on a European Union-funded tour to understudy the successful implementation of TSA in the country.

The delegation had paid courtesy visits separately to the Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed and the Accountant General of the Federation (AGF), Mr. Ahmed Idris, preparatory to the commencement of a two-week tour in the country.

However, the Okolieaboh said: “If you are looking at transactions in terms of turnover, we should be talking of about N20 trillion, N30 trillion. Remember money is in and out.”

But, he would not disclose the current value of the TSA.

On whether the implementation of TSA had given rise to other forms of corrupt practices within the processes, he said: “I am not aware that corruption is going in leaps and bounds. But the truth is that there is a wrong public expectation about the TSA.

“If you listened to the statements, TSA is meant to consolidate bank accounts to give you better cash management abilities.

“But by so doing also, to help you to track what is going on and the truth is that right now that tracking is going on: there is no transactions that go on in the MDAs that we don’t know.

“Now, if corruption has not died, the question is what will it have been like, if there was no TSA?”

However, Ahmed, while welcoming the delegates noted that the presence of government officials from The Gambia to study successful TSA implementation in Nigeria was a reaffirmation of the fact that what the country had done with the TSA was a good example.

According to her: “TSA has helped us enforce our liquidity management. We have been able to track transactions that are coming in or going out. And every agency of government has an account in the TSA. Because the funds are pooled, it has helped us to enhance liquidity management,” the Minister said. She urged the delegation to learn from the Nigerian experience and improve on management of their nation’s funds.

“Without TSA, you have a lot of challenges with accounting preparation and liquidity management.”

She further advised the delegates to also endeavor to understudy implementation of TSA in the states of the federation that have slight differences in its operation with the federal government.

Meanwhile, Momodou, while commenting on fame which the TSA had brought for Nigeria said: “There has been lots of literature about Nigeria’s achievements in the implementation of TSA and Nigeria has been a reference point even from the IMF.

“When we talk about reference point, the first country that would come on the list is the Federal Republic of Nigeria and IMF also has an online course and they have used Nigeria in the training materials as reference country for successful implementation of TSA.”

He said: “Therefore, we do not have a second country on our list of options. We have only Nigeria as a country to visit.

“We are also undergoing many reforms not only TSA. That’s why you realise that we have a big delegation because we want everybody to be onboard for all of us to learn together so that we understand things the same way: we hear it from the same people and we have a unified approach also towards our implementation.”

According to him, TSA implementation will enable government to save costs “Because what is happening actually in The Gambia is that the government will borrow its own funds from the commercial banks, from banks accounts that belongs to the government and then government will pay interest on its own funds.

“So, it increases government borrowing in addition to the cost of borrowing. So since we have started implementing TSA, we have realised some benefits.

“Actually we realised that out TSA which we call treasury account is always in the positive region, it used to be over-drawn and then we will go and borrow but now, for quite some time it has remained on the positive side and we have funds thereby reducing the borrowings.

“Maybe central bank will only borrow for monetary policy reasons not to support fiscal policy for government expenditure.”

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