The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Wednesday in Abuja advised state governments to adopt the Federal Government’s system of using a single account for all its revenue deposits.
Mr Kure Abubakar, Head, Client Services at the CBN, gave the advice while presenting a paper on ‘Understanding Treasury Single Account (TSA)’ at the close of a two-day workshop on the Fiscal Responsibility Act.
The workshop, which began on Tuesday, was organised for government revenue generating ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs).
He said the TSA, if adopted by states, could help them to get maximum benefits.
Abubakar while answering questions from participants urged them to comply with the Federal Government’s directive and adhere to the September 15 deadline to avoid sanctions.
On the sidelines of the workshop, he told newsmen that some MDAs had complied and that if others failed to comply, they stood the risk of being sanctioned by the president.
“There are sanctions and the directive says all erring MDAs will be penalised and that is enough because that is the type of political will we need.
“If you don’t comply the consequence is yours. I cannot say specific penalties but I believe the president has the authority to penalise either the Managing Director or Chief Executive of such MDA.
“So those that refuse to comply are on their own or they should show reason to the government why they cannot comply’’, he said.
He also said that MDAs that require a waiver could do so by making a presentation to the president, stating why such should be granted.
“The presidential directive says that you can make a presentation to the president for a waiver if necessary.
“If the justifications are quite good Mr President in his own wisdom can grant the waiver but for now all the MDAs should work towards achieving the deadline of September 15,’’ he said.
Mr Khurima Nthara, World Bank Lead Economist and Programme Leader for Nigeria, while commending the Federal Government on the TSA implementation, said that it had been tested in other countries and it had been effective.
He said the concept would help government to reduce borrowing because it would enable it have a more consolidated view of the cash that it has at hand.
“I think the TSA has got a very simple concept. You want the government to have a good view of all the cash that it has in one single account.
“You don’t want the situation that one department or ministry has funds lying idle in one commercial bank when another is in need of those cash and the government has to borrow to make sure that the other ministry or department has access to funds.
“So the concept of the TSA is that all funds should be consolidated so that whichever agency is in need of cash at the moment should have access to those funds,’’ he said.
One of the participants, Mr Ibeh Benneth, said that the workshop had helped him to understand how the Fiscal Responsibility Act works and how to go about the TSA remittance.
He further said that the workshop gave him a better understanding of the importance of the TSA to the nation and that it would ensure transparency in governance.
“I know I have been hearing of TSA but confronting it very closely today was good.
“We have discussed it extensively in our organisation but we did not know how to go about it.
“But now we have an idea and even though we had previously gotten an exemption letter, it is obvious that letter will not work, we have to start the process afresh.
“We saw the TSA as a directive that government just wants to be seen to be doing something but now I know that it is with good intentions,’’ he said. (NAN)