Accountant General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris, on Wednesday disclosed that Federal Government and its agencies saved at least N56.4 billion from bank loans, overdrafts and cash advances in the last one year through the application of Treasury Single Account (TSA).
“During my presentation yesterday, I made it clear that we stopped a whooping sum of N4.7 billion in cost of keeping those accounts largely cost of borrowing because there could be over drafts, there could be charges monthly. That has been stopped since the introduction of TSA.
“TSA have been able to consolidate all resources of government into a particular single form and we have been able to see the resources of governments coming together into a single window whereby at any given time we can say this is how much government has”, Idris said in an interaction with reporters on the sidelines of a two-day retreat on the first anniversary of TSA implementation in Abuja.
According to him, government had also been able to stop the numerous accounts spread across deposit money banks with the attendant cost of keeping such accounts.
“We have been able to track government revenue, we have been able to see revenue inflow and that has helped us to harness our revenue in that direction. We have been able to stop leakages because some of these over 20,000 accounts were not even known to some agencies that owned them.
“And TSA has brought about transparency in terms of delivery.”
Admitting that there were initial hitches in the implementation of the system, the AGF explained “we have been able to largely address them because it has been continuous dialogue between the Office of Accountant General of the Federation (OAGF) and ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) and all the issues have been largely addressed and if there is any other issue, we are willing to address them.
“We keep improving on deployment of technology and modern applications to solve all the challenges that are being perceived.
“Right now, we are talking with some programme developers, because we observed that for teaching hospitals and universities, there are endowment funds, there are third party funds and there are funds that are not meant as holding funds.
“We deploy technology to seep out those funds separate from normal conventional revenues. As far as all the reform initiatives of government are concerned, the key driving element is technology. Technology gives us the latitude to be flexible, to ensure efficiency, to achieve goals.”
Reacting to complaints that TSA has adverse effects on banks so much so that many of them are retrenching staff, Idris said this was not supposed to be.
Senior bankers he disclosed have declared that “TSA is challenging banks to return to traditional banking business. And that is a beauty of TSA.
“Banks are never created to hold public funds or government funds virtually for free. No! That is not banking. Nowhere in the world are banks relying on public funds to survive.
“So, banks are now becoming more innovative and that innovation is what will bring them back to business and I believe very soon, retrenchment in the sector will be a thing of the past and they will be looking for people to employ because they are now focused on doing what they are supposed to do.”