By LANRE ADESANYA
The claim by Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State that the Treasury Single Account, policy harbours unscrupulous transactions has been rebutted by Chairman of the House Committee on Public Accounts for State at the Lagos State House of Assembly, Hon. Moshood Oshun, who described it a faulty stance void of verifiable fact .
Fayose had, in a statement on Sunday, declared that he would not be part of the meeting the Federal Government was to hold with state governors on the TSA because the policy itself was a direct fleecing of Nigerian treasury and its people as it is aimed at recouping money spent on the last general elections by the APC, as well as raise money for future elections, especially the Kogi and Bayelsa States gubernatorial poll.
He also asked the Federal Government to expose those behind REMITA so that Nigerians would know those “through whom the All Progressives Congress, APC, is siphoning Nigerian money to fund Kogi and Bayelsa States governorship election.”
In reaction to Fayose’s aspersion, Oshun said the governor had simply exhibited his ignorance adding that it would have been wise for Fayose to learn from those who understood the issue before coming out to embarrass himself and loyalists.
“First, a politician is suppose to know a little about everything and be able to speak with facts. Unfortunately, Fayose failed in this regard by making it look like REMITA is a company when it is, indeed, a software that belongs to System Specs.
“Then Fayose went on to say the company was being used by the APC to recoup money spent during the last election and to gather money for the execution of the Kogi and Bayelsa elections.
“Showing further lack of understanding of the issue, the governor said the company got one percent of the total revenue of the federation and that in just one month, the company was discovered to have made N25 billion, all these in an attempt to paint the APC black,” Oshun said.
To dispel Fayose’s unfounded claims, the lawmaker said: “first, REMITA is simply an e-payment and e-collection software belonging to System Specs and used by the Federal Government to implement payments into the TSA.
“The company has even explained that it got its contract since 2011 when former President Goodluck Jonathan and his Peoples Democratic Party, which Fayose belongs, held sway.
“Fayose should know that the company has also explained that it never made N25 billion as claimed by Fayose and his co-travellers. Instead, the company, since the commencement of the contract in 2011, has only made N3 billion from the one percent Fayose has been shouting about. This means that the System Specs is not the only company that got the one percent since the processing fee was shared with concerned banks and even the Central Bank of Nigeria in the ratios of .5 percent, .4 percent and .1 percent respectively.
Oshun noted that in a recent letter to President Muhammadu Buhari, System Specs had given its side of the needed explanation saying in 2013, CBN and the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation set up a multi-stakeholder implementation committee and organised a joint seminar with key stakeholders, including banks, to agree on formalities for commencement of e-collection.
“This was when Buhari and the APC were not in power. Yet Fayose, in an attempt to curry public applause, attempted to either misinform the people or showed his ignorance,” Oshun said adding that the letter by System Specs showed that while the banks proposed a fee of five percent, the implementation committee recommended 2.5 percent after negotiation with the banks while the then Attorney-General approved one percent and that this processing fee was communicated to all the stakeholders through the CBN in December 2013.
According to Oshun, Fayose really needed to get his facts right and stop toying with serious issues like the TSA which is one way to combat corruption taken steps higher by the PDP.
“As governor, he can easily get all the information he needs. He can also call those who understand the situation to teach him instead of turning the table against himself with this shallow understanding,” Oshun stressed.