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TSA as Transparency Enabler, Not Anti-growth

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  • TSA as Transparency Enabler, Not Anti-growth

Difficult times have been well assessed by experts as a period of more want, with less satisfaction. It is also a period of rather than more alternative solutions, but blames, as well as regrets. The Treasury Single Account (TSA), which is gradually assuming a household recognition in the country, is not totally a unique phenomenon, it is global issue, with varied nomenclature.

The second is that the money gathered by TSA was returned to the owner- government, which hitherto was borrowed “ignorantly” for a fee. Besides, while the tenor or period of the “free ride” lasted in the hands of those holding the money, they never reported how much they earned without paying the owner any fee to owner.

Of course, the inflation rate hit an 11 year high at 17.9 per cent in September 2016, and expected to breach the 18 per cent mark by October data. It is worth noting that had the pool of fund sterilised by TSA been in the banking system, it would have fueled more inflation than at present.

While the assessed “idle” funds created by TSA are not encouraged in a system that needs free flow of funds, the decision to still keep them idle is a policy matter and power of negotiation by those who really need them. The TSA has done its work of gathering the “scattered” public fund together, it is left for policy makers and businesses to re-engage the pool.

We call it TSA and in other jurisdictions, they call it something else, but the objective and process are one- making the financial position of government transparent and effective. Almost, if not all the governments of the world, operate it.

Complaints against economic policies, with the TSA receiving some major knocks, have made informed commentary a necessity, especially as the reforms to restructure and institute openness in governance gather momentum.

The Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, in August 2016, said that 40,000 ghost workers had been discovered with the help of the TSA scheme, thus promoting transparency in governance. This figure, when multiplied by the current Minimum Wage of N18,000 amounts to N720 million monthly and N8.64 billion yearly.

The Accountant General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris, in March this year’ said that the programme has assisted the government in recovering funds exceeding ₦3.3 trillion in less than a year of enforcement. While this amount may not be physical clawback of Naira, it signals amount that would have been lost to the “old ways” of doing things.

Prior to the enforcement of the TSA scheme, Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDA’s) of the republic ran over 17,000 lax bank accounts. With the implementation, over 900 MDA’s operate the TSA, hence cutting costs of governance.

Some state governments such as Lagos and Kaduna have bought into the programme in a bid to promote accountability in governance. They realised that the long term gains of the policy is enormous.

The multiplicity of bank accounts operated by MDA’s enabled banks to run an eccentric financial system whereby funds from the loose government accounts were loaned back to the government at a high interest rate. These excesses have been cut with the implementation of the TSA thereby exposing their shortcomings in performing their financial intermediaries. They have now diversified.

Unfortunately, some organisations, as well as industry leaders have joined in blaming the TSA scheme for the economic downturn, which could falsely lead one into believing that the TSA is a nefarious plot to impair the populace’s standard of living. If government has the penchant of delaying the release of project funds, it is not because TSA is in operation, because it takes a signature or order where applicable for the fund to be released”

TSA might be seen in bad light in the country however, globally, it is a standard for public accountability.

Here are some of the things everyone needs to know about TSA or be reminded of:

TSA is a financial policy established by the Federal Government to consolidate all revenues and payments from its various Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDA’s) into a single account or a group of linked accounts domiciled in the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

TSA was initiated by the previous administrations, but executed by the current government. Even President Muhammadu Buhari has attested to the fact that it is a laudable idea during his session with the Nigerians living in the United Kingdom in February.

Sections 80 and 162 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria states that there should be a Consolidated Revenue Fund for all revenue and other moneys raised and received by the Federation. TSA, according experts, is in compliance with this section of the constitution. This, so far, has put all conversations centering on its legality to silence.

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Businessinsider, Nasdaq, Entrepreneur.com, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

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Finance

Federal Government Clears $120m Debt to Gas Companies Amid Nigeria’s Power Crisis

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Gas-Pipeline

Amidst Nigeria’s persistent power crisis, the Federal Government has taken a pivotal step forward by clearing a significant portion of its debt to gas companies.

A sum of $120 million has been paid out of the country’s $1.3 billion indebtedness to gas suppliers, offering a glimmer of hope for improved energy stability across the nation.

The Minister of Power, Chief Adebayo Adelabu, underscored the critical role of gas in power generation and highlighted how the mounting debts had severely hampered gas supply to electricity-generating companies, exacerbating the country’s electricity shortfall.

Nigeria heavily relies on thermal power plants fueled by gas for over 70% of its electricity needs, making the timely settlement of gas debts paramount for enhancing power generation capacity and addressing the nation’s energy deficit.

Addressing delegates at the 7th Nigeria International Energy Summit in Abuja, the Director of the Decade of Gas Secretariat, Ed Ubong, expressed optimism about the government’s progress in offsetting its financial obligations to gas producers.

He emphasized the importance of aligning gas and power sectors to foster sustainable energy solutions.

As Nigeria grapples with the multifaceted challenges plaguing its energy landscape, the government’s commitment to settling outstanding gas debts marks a pivotal stride towards revitalizing the country’s power infrastructure and ensuring reliable electricity access for its citizens.

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Finance

Nigeria Insurance Corporation Reimburses Depositors of 179 Closed Microfinance and Four Mortgage Banks

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Retail banking

The Nigeria Insurance Corporation (NDIC) has announced the successful reimbursement of depositors affected by the closure of 179 microfinance banks and four mortgage banks across the country.

The reassuring news came during the 45th Kaduna International Trade Fair, where NDIC’s Managing Director, Dr. Bello Hassan, explained the corporation’s unwavering commitment to safeguarding depositors’ funds amidst financial uncertainties.

Dr. Hassan, represented by Hauwa Gambo, the NDIC’s Deputy Director of Communication, highlighted the corporation’s proactive measures in protecting the interests of depositors.

The introduction of the Single Customer View framework has expedited the process of reimbursing depositors of liquidated banks, ensuring swift and transparent transactions.

The corporation’s collaboration with the judiciary has yielded positive results, facilitating the speedy prosecution of failed insured banks and resolving long-standing cases of bank liquidations like Fortune and Triumph Banks.

This concerted effort has significantly enhanced the debt recovery rate, enabling NDIC to declare full liquidation dividends to uninsured depositors of over 20 deposit money banks.

Furthermore, NDIC has embraced digital remote payment strategies, streamlining electronic funds transfers to verified depositors’ alternate bank accounts.

The introduction of the ‘Deposit Tracer’ initiative in partnership with mobile operators aims to address apathy among depositors with small balances, providing accessible avenues for claiming funds trapped in closed banks.

The initiatives underscore NDIC’s proactive stance in safeguarding depositors’ interests and ensuring financial stability in Nigeria’s banking sector.

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Banking Sector

85.51 Million Nigerian Bank Customers Face Withdrawal Freeze Over NIN, BVN Deadline

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First Bank

As the March 1 deadline looms, an estimated 85.51 million Nigerian bank customers are facing the possibility of frozen accounts due to their failure to link their National Identification Numbers (NINs) and/or Bank Verification Numbers (BVNs) to their accounts.

Recent findings reveal the potential scale of the impending banking crisis.

Data from the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS) indicates that Nigeria had approximately 146 million active individual bank customers as of December 2022.

However, by January 26, 2024, only 60.49 million BVNs were recorded on the NIBSS portal, leaving a significant portion unlinked.

Meanwhile, about 104 million NINs had been issued by December 2023, highlighting the disparity between NIN issuance and BVN linkage.

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had earlier issued directives to banks, mandating them to restrict transactions on accounts lacking linked NINs and BVNs, with effect from March 1, 2024.

Any accounts found non-compliant risk being designated as ‘Post no Debit,’ rendering them unable to process further transactions.

Responding to the impending crisis, the Director-General of the National Identification Management Commission (NIMC), Abisoye Coker-Odusote, emphasized the need for the revalidation of Front-End Partners (FEPs) to ensure the integrity of the identity database.

She underscored the importance of NIN registration and urged collaboration with various stakeholders to expedite the process.

The Executive Vice Chairman/CEO of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Dr. Aminu Maida, reiterated the significance of linking NINs to SIM cards to enhance national security.

Telecom subscribers were urged to comply with the NIN-SIM linkage directive to avoid service disruptions.

Meanwhile, financial service providers like Opay have issued reminders of the impending restrictions, urging customers to comply with the linkage requirements.

Amidst concerns, some customers contemplate transferring funds to compliant accounts to avoid potential financial setbacks.

As the deadline approaches, stakeholders are intensifying efforts to mitigate the impact of the impending banking crisis on millions of Nigerians.

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