Celebrating Nigerian Fintech: Gambian delegation understudies TSA

Federal Government has lauded Nigerian FinTech company, SystemSpecs, for providing the technological infrastructure support that has ensured the success of the Treasury Single Account (TSA). This is as delegates arrive Nigeria from the Gambia to understudy Nigeria’s implementation of the TSA, Monday.

The Gambian delegation, led by the permanent secretary, Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs, Ada Gaye and its Accountant General, Momodou Lamin Bah, met in Abuja with some government officials, including the Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, Accountant General of the Federation, represented by director of funds OAGF, Muhammad Usman, and director of TSA, Sylva Okolieaboh, among others on Monday. They were saddled with facts about the Nigerian TSA and its experience in TSA initiation and implementation.

Ahmed explained how the TSA worked to the Gambian delegates, describing the functions of the system and the benefits it had brought to the country.

According to Ahmed, “the TSA sits in the Central Bank; the Account holder is the Ministry of Finance, as well as each agency that has a sub account; and the transactions are driven by a platform we call Remita, and remittances are done through Remita to the Central Bank.”
She also encouraged the delegates and their Nigerian counterparts to learn from each other.
The director, TSA at the Office of the Accountant-General, Sylva Okolieaboh, who is one of the key figures as far as Nigeria’s TSA is concerned, noted that no policy of government in Nigeria’s history has been as successful as the TSA in terms of implementation, and that is why Gambia, and very soon, Ethiopia willing be coming to learn from Nigeria’s TSA example.

According to Okolieaboh, “If there is any policy that the government has supported 100%, it is the TSA. It is one reform that every incoming government has always supported. However, I must say that the success we have recorded so far has been because the President and the Federal Government has supported TSA 100%.”

Discussing on the technological facility used in powering the TSA programme, Okolieaboh lauded SystemSpecs, owners of Remita- the indigenous Fintech solution behind TSA for their tremendous infrastructural support towards in helping the process.

According to him, “SystemSpecs has facilitated a whole lot. In fairness to SystemSpecs, when the President gave the order for TSA to commence almost immediately in 2015, it was SystemSpecs that stepped in to make that possible. If they did not provide their platform as at that time, I don’t think it would have been possible”

On his part, the Accountant General of Gambia, Momodou Lamin Bah explained why Gambia decided to understudy Nigeria’s TSA example, noting that Nigeria is a ‘big brother’ to Gambia, and that its success with TSA has been a source of reference at the IMF.

According to him, “We have reference from the International Monetary Fund, sighting Nigeria’s tremendous success in implementing the treasury single account. I was looking at their (IMF) online PFM course (Public Financial Management), and Nigeria specifically is showcased there for successful implementation of the Treasury Single Account. So, we didn’t have a second choice… We call Nigeria our big brother. When a small brother wants something, he will ask the big brother”.
The Gambian delegates are expected to gain further insights about the working of the federal and state TSA during the course of their two-week stay in Nigeria.

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