Volume of transactions through the Treasury Single Account reached over N30 trillion since 2012, as many African countries now understudy Nigeria ‘s example following successes recorded so far in its implementation.
Sylva Okolieaboh, Director/Coordinator, Treasury Single Accounts/e-Collection disclosed this Monday in Abuja on the sidelines of a study visit by Gambian delegates who are looking forward to introducing the Account in their country.
“From 2012 when we started the full TSA, the volume of transactions reached the region of N30trillion. That is in terms of transaction volume, not in terms of balances or anything, so we are looking at over N30trillion turnover,” Okolieaboh told journalists on the sidelines of the visit.
He recalled when the TSA implementation commenced around March 2015, it was difficult to believe that Nigeria could pull through with the project.
“We are very happy to hear that what we are doing today has attracted so much international attention, it is not only The Gambia, we are expecting Ethiopia in the next four weeks and then another country, maybe in the next six weeks and we are aware that the international community appreciates the strides we have made in implementing TSA in Nigeria,” he stated, noting, however, that it will be difficult to state specifically how much is in the TSA at any given time given that it is a fluid account.
In his opening remarks, Accountant General of the Federation (AGF), Idris Ahmed said The Gambians have a lot to learn from Nigeria’s public finance management initiatives.
Represented by Mohammed K. Usman, who is the Director Funds in AGF office, Idris said TSA in Nigeria has been widely commended and has helped government curb excessive spending and corruption in government agencies.
Earlier in her office, finance minister, Zainab Ahmed clarifying the controversies over bringing foreign missions into the TSA, said the federal government is considering the option of capturing all accruals by foreign missions to into a single account.
She said a key challenge to the full implementation of the TSA in Nigeria is how to bring in revenue generated by foreign missions usually in different currencies into the TSA.
To address this challenge, the finance minister said the government “is looking at a different option to interface with TSA for foreign missions.
She then urged The Gambians to take advantage of their two weeks stay in Nigeria to visit some states which have keyed into the implementation of the TSA at the sub-nationals.
The Gambian High Commissioner to Nigeria, H.E Amedou Taal urged called for concerted efforts by the members of the Economic Community of West African States towards achieving a single currency in the sub-region by 2020.
According to him, a single currency in ECOWAS would facilitate trade and increase the movement of people and goods within the sub-region, and advance the economies.
“If we can achieve a single currency within ECOWAS, it will help us in terms of trade, the people to people relations , as well as, the movement of people, goods and services,” he said.
Ada Gaye, Permanent Secretary in the ministry of finance and national planning of The Gambia said they came to learn from Nigeria how it has managed its TSA as part of the public finance reforms taking place in the Gambia especially the monitoring of funds.
The Accountant General of the Gambia Momodou Lamin Bah who also spoke at the event said they were advised by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to understudy Nigeria, having made a lot of progress and now a reference point for other African countries on TSA implementation.
According to him, his team consisted of Information and Technology experts, to see how Nigeria has been leveraging technology in the implementation of the TSA, revenue officials, budgeting, payrolls and the preparation of government financial statement.
The Gambian AG said that his country has also been working on various reforms to move away from manual and cheque payments.
He said the study was funded by the European Union (EU) which also acknowledges how Nigeria has successfully handled the TSA.