No MDA is exempted from TSA, says CBN, takes BVN to MfBs, others

Odunewu Segun

The Central Bank of Nigeria has dismissed speculations in some quarters that some Ministries, Departments or Agenccies (MDAs) of government had been exempted from the Treasury Single Account, stressing that as far as the CBN was concerned, TSA was applicable to all MDAs.

Speaking at the Finance Correspondents Association of Nigeria (FICAN) Bi-Monthly Forum hosted by the CBN, Director, Banking and Payment Systems, Dipo Fatokun, pointed out that agencies such as the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) and the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) had been operating the TSA even before the Federal Government gave the order for the full implementation of the policy last September.

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He said that apart from the TSA ensuring that the government has a consolidated view of its cash resources, thereby eliminating inefficiencies in financial and cash management, it reduces overdraft, bank fees and other transaction costs. He further stated that under the policy, which was introduced by the previous administration: “Government agencies are not to operate any bank account under any guise, outside the purview and oversight of the Treasury.”

Meanwhile, the CBN Director has disclosed ongoing plans by the regulator to extend Bank Verification Number (BVN) registration project to customers of Other Financial Institutions (OFIS) such as Microfinance Banks (MfBs), Primary Mortgage Institutions (PMIs), among others.

He said the CBN was considering having the OFIS customers enroll through deposit money banks, because of the high cost of procuring the machines. “We are considering using commercial banks as registration points for the OFIS customers. We also expected that many of the OFIS customers, who already have their BVNs will supply the data to their banks, while others without BVN will register afresh,” he said.

Fatokun said the BVN project, which is being coordinated by CBN, commercial banks and Nigeria Interbank Settlement System (NIBSS) has helped reduce the number of bank frauds in the industry. The CBN director explained that before the coming of the BVN, identifications previously used in the banking industry were not foolproof, as fraudsters easily go unidentified.