By Odunewu Segun
The Federal Government said it has commenced audit of remittances by banks into the Treasury Single Accounts.
Director, Funds, office of the Accountant General of the Federation, Mr. Alexander Adeyemi stated this at the weekend during a a two-day workshop for finance journalists on the TSA and other public financial management reforms.
He said the audit, which was being conducted by renowned accounting firms such as Pricewaterhouse Coopers and Ernst and Young, would focus on how much of the government’s funds was in banks before the Presidential directive was given; how much was actually moved; and what was still being held by banks.
“They are doing three-leg reconciliation. We are starting out with the balance of the MDAs (Ministries, Departments and Agencies) before the Presidential directive. Then, we are proceeding to the CBN in terms of how much was moved. Was it the total money in banks? We are also auditing the balance in these various accounts.
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Adeyemi also said that the government was putting in place a mechanism to monitor and ensure that the funds were paid back into the government coffers.
He said the entire funds in the TSA could not be used to fund all the programmes of government as they belonged to the agencies of government, some of which were for projects of previous years.
He, however, said there were some idle funds of about N300bn in the TSA, which had been invested in the Federal Government treasury bills.
He also spoke on the delay in the payment of the consultancy fees of SystemSpec, the firm whose software was used to move the funds, stressing that a Presidential approval had been given for the release of the funds.
He, however, said what was approved might not be up to N12bn being demanded by SystemSpec due to the huge transaction involved in the movement of the TSA funds.
He said, “The President has approved the amount to be paid to Remita (SystemSpec) for its services and we have been working in line with that Presidential directive. The only problem is that Remita is looking at the agreement with the government before the directive.
The TSA is a platform used by the government to unify all its accounts by ensuring that all funds belonging to the Federal Government are kept with the Central Bank of Nigeria.
The initiative, which began fully in September 2015, has been complied with by over 900 agencies of the government with 20,000 bank accounts closed while over N5tn has been moved from banks to the CBN.