- FG Records N8.9tn Revenue Inflow Into TSA
Since the introduction of the Treasury Single Account in September 2015, a total inflow of N8.9tn from Ministries, Departments and Agencies of government has been recorded by the Federal Government.
The Accountant-General of the Federation, Alhaji Ahmed Idris, gave the figure in Abuja on Friday at a workshop for finance journalists held at the headquarters of the Ministry of Finance.
He also said over N70bn of funds belonging to the Federal Government had been lost to distressed banks in the country.
He spoke on the theme, ‘TSA: A veritable tool for transparency and accountability in public financial management’.
Idris stated that the TSA had been used by the government to unify all its accounts by ensuring that all monies belonging to the Federal Government were kept with the Central Bank of Nigeria.
He said the initiative had assisted the Federal Government to close over 17,000 bank accounts, while huge sums of money had been moved from Deposit Money Banks to the CBN.
Idris, who was represented at the event by the Deputy Director/Coordinator TSA/e-Collection, Funds Department, Office of Accountant-General of the Federation, Mr. Sylva Okolie, said the TSA policy had been able to assist the government to address a lot of impediments affecting the efficiency of public finance.
He said since the implementation of the policy three years ago, a total of 1,674 MDAs had been enrolled into the TSA platform.
Idris stated, “The TSA covers all funds budgetary or extra budgetary, including loans, grants and donations under the control of all Federal Government entities irrespective of the arm of government.
“All collections are done through electronic channels and we have recorded N8.9tn gross inflow to date with 1,674 MDAs enrolled.
“The TSA is intended to address multiple bank accounts of over 17,000, countless dormant accounts with huge balances, inability to determine consolidated cash position of government, borrowing and incurring charges when there are idle balances in MDAs accounts, delayed remittance of revenue and collections. Over N70bn of Federal Government funds lost to failed banks.”
The AGF told participants at the workshop that the government was currently enjoying a lot of benefits from the implementation of the TSA policy.
For instance, he stated that through the policy, the government had been able to block leakages and abuse, which had characterised the public sector before its commencement in September 2015.
Apart from blocking leakages, Idris said the TSA initiative had assisted the government to overcome the burden of indiscriminate borrowing by the MDAs, thus saving the government a lot of bank charges associated with these borrowings.
In addition, he said through the policy, the government had eliminated various financial charges which hitherto stood at N40bn monthly.
He added that despite the successes so far recorded, there were still some institutional and operational challenges that were affecting the scheme.
The AGF gave some of them as capacity deficit, lack of clarity in stakeholders’ roles, conflicting directives and signals, resistance based on limited understanding of the TSA, and non-enrolment of key arms of government.
Others are lump sum transfer of MDAs’ balances by Deposit Money Banks, difficulty in accessing bank statements and associated reconciliation issues, and multiplicity of sub-accounts.
In his presentation at the event, the Secretary of the Presidential Initiative on Continuous Audit, Mohammed Dikwa, said a total of N208bn had been saved for the government through an audit of the payroll.
Giving a breakdown of the N208bn, he noted that the sum of N97.94bn was saved in 2016, while N110.46bn was saved in 2017.
Dikwa added that in the last two years, the expenditure of the Federal Government had been subjected to increased scrutiny as part of plans to ensure macroeconomic stability.
According to him, through the activities of the committee, all Federal Government receipts and payments are being subjected to financial rules and regulations.
He said the areas of wastage and leakages in personnel costs, overhead costs, capital supplementation, pension and gratuities and statutory transfers, among others, had been identified and blocked.
FG Plans to Build 10 New Airports in Anambra, Benue, Others – Aviation Minister
Aviation Minister Says FG Working on Building 10 New Airports
The Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, on Tuesday, said the Federal Government plans to build 10 airports across the country to improve civil aviation.
The minister made the statement while defending his ministry’s 2021 budget proposals.
Sirika said President Muhammadu Buhari has done justice to the aviation ministry through the ongoing framework and implementation.
He said the administration would construct new airports in Anambra, Benue, Ekiti, Nasarawa, Ebonyi and Gombe States.
He further stated that airports in Kebbi, Osubi and Dutse have been taken over for redevelopment by the Federal Government.
Sirika said, “Consequent upon that roadmap, we have seen aviation grow in 2018 to become the second-fastest-growing sector of the economy.
“Also and by 2019, it became the fastest-growing sector of the economy and increased its GDP contribution.
“From 2015 till now, we’ve seen a lot of growth in civil aviation, the number of airports is increasing.
“So far, about seven airports have been added to the map, some of them completed, some of them under construction.
“There are airports coming up in Benue, Ebonyi, Ekiti, Lafia, Damaturu, Anambra and so on.
“All these show that civil aviation is growing during this administration.
“So, we have about 10 new airports coming up, that is almost half the number of airports we used to have in Nigeria.
“We are adding 50 per cent of the number of airports,” the minister added.
Sirika noted that Nigeria Air, the proposed national carrier, was part of the new roadmap and could be delivered before 2023.
He said, “We are on it. The transaction adviser has brought in the outline business case.
“It is being reviewed by Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission, Soon after it finishes, it will go to the Federal Executive Council and it will be approved.
“We will not leave this government without having it in place.”
He defended why Lokoja, Kogi State needs another airport, saying it is an alternative to the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja.
He said, “Lokoja is an important northern town. It is a cosmopolitan town, it’s a mini Nigeria and it is extremely very important in growth and development of our country.
“We have a lot of agricultural activities there. There is fishery, there is perishable item production and so on.
“So, establishing an airport there is quite apt. For me, it is something we should have done long ago for its importance.”
FG Says Over N6 Billion Disbursed to Poor Households in Zamfara
Over N6 Billion Disbursed to Poor Households in Zamfara
The Federal Government said it has disbursed over N6 billion under the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) scheme to poor households in six out of the 14 local governments in Zamfara in 2020.
The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajiya Sadiya Umar-Farouk disclosed this on Tuesday during the flag off of Grant for Rural Women Project in Gusau.
The minister said the CCT program was created in 2016 to address the deficiencies in capacity and lack of investment in human capital of poor and vulnerable households.
“The programme is designed to deliver timely and accessible cash transfers to beneficiary households.
“And sets to support development objectives and priorities, to achieve improvement in health and nutrition, school enrolment and retention, environmental sanitation and empowerment among others,” she explained.
Umar-Faruk said a total of 130,000 beneficiaries from Anka, Bungudu, Birnin Magaji, Kaura Namoda, Tsafe, and Talata Mafara local government areas received between N30,000 to N80,000, depending on the dates the beneficiary enrolled in the programme.
Speaking on the grant for Rural Women, the minister said the programme was introduced to deepen the social inclusion agenda of President Buhari administration that includes lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in 10 years.
“It is designed to provide a one-off grant to some of the poorest and most vulnerable women in rural Nigeria.
“A grant of N20,000 will be disbursed to over 150,000 poor rural women across the 36 states of the federation,” she said.
Delta State Gov Okowa Presents N378.48 Billion Budget for 2021
Ifeanyi Okowa Presents N378.48 Billion Proposed Budget for 2021
The Executive Governor of Delta State, Senator (Dr) Ifeanyi Okowa, on Tuesday presented a N378.48 billion budget to the state’s House of Assembly for consideration for the 2021 fiscal year.
The budget christened “Budget of Recovery” appropriated N207.52 billion for Capital Expenditure while Recurrent Expenditure was allocated N171.32 billion.
According to the Governor, capital expenditure accounted for 54.76 percent of the budget while 45.24 percent represented recurrent expenditure.
He explained that the allocations were in line with his administration’s agenda of spending more on projects and programmes that would impact positively on the socio-economic well-being of the people of Delta.
The proposed budget for 2021 is N96.2 billion or 34.05 per cent more than the N282 billion approved for 2020.
The governor said that the 2021 budget proposals reinforced the state government’s commitment to road infrastructure, education, health, job and wealth creation programmes as the principal-drivers of the Stronger Delta agenda.
According to him, N113 billion, representing 89.94 per cent of the capital budget is allocated to the economic sector while N35 billion is allocated to the social sector; the administration sector got 10.93 billion and the regional sector, N42 billion.
“In 2021, we propose to spend N66.66 billion on Road Infrastructure; N6.79 billion on Health; Education will gulp N23.55 billion; Agriculture, N2.04 billion and Water Sector, N1.83 billion.
“Job and Wealth Creation Bureau will gulp N1 Billion and Youth Development, N1.25 billion. These key sectors are very essential in our 2021 budget,” Okowa said.
Okowa also explained that due to the negative impact of COVID-19 on the economy and the world at large, government spending was significantly affected by the global pandemic and that Delta was no exception.
The governor, therefore, stated that “the proposed 2021 Budget for Delta is primarily focused on protecting and supporting our people in a COVID-19 environment, accelerating infrastructural renewal, incentivizing growth, enhancing job creation, engendering social inclusion and developing sustainably.
“Overall, the proposed 2021 Budget is predicated on inclusive economic growth that is sustainable and people-centred, with strengthening fiscal sustainability through increased efficiency in spending, improved revenue mobilization and debt sustainability.
“It also entails improving processes and systems in Public Financial Management, and Monitoring and Evaluation, to bolster better public sector service delivery.”
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