ADEOSUN

FG will Stop Withdrawals from TSA by March – Kemi Adeosun

Nigeria Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, Tuesday revealed that the federal government would suspend all withdrawals by ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) from the Treasury Single Account (TSA) at the end of March, ThisDay is reporting.

The minister who made the disclosure while defending the budget of her ministry before the Senate Committee on Finance chaired by Senator John Eno, was responding to questions by the committee on irregular balances in TSA account. She said money was going in and out of the account on a daily basis.

According to her, the ministry was working hard to determine the figures in the account which represented liabilities with the intention to know what will be brought forward to fund the 2016 budget.

“The TSA is the bank account of the MDAs. We are starting the process of drawing a line and March is the deadline.

“In March, we will be able to make sure that we say to those agencies – of your balance in TSA – how much is capital? How much is accumulated surplus of the past? How much is tied to liabilities?

“That process we have started and we are engaging with the agencies and from that, we will be able to identify how much can now be used to fund the budget.

“But the TSA balances change on a daily basis because of revenues and monies being paid out. So, we are drawing a line.
“When the budget year closes, then we will do a closing reconciliation; freeze any monies that are no longer available for them to spend and count as part of our funding for 2016,” she said.

Adeosun further disclosed that despite the changes to the TSA account, the balance still stood at about N2.2 trillion adding that before the end of the financial year by March 2016, the ministry would have determined what amount of the money is actually a liability and what amount is available.

Adeosun added that a lot of the aspects of the TSA would still undergo modifications to address specific needs.

She argued that the ministry was also exploring other revenues that could be used to fund the budget 2016.

“We believe those revenues will come in and form part of the internally generated revenues (IGR) of government. The other recovery that we are expecting is that we are looking at those pensions and salaries. We have identified that there is a consistent overpayment of pension contributions.

“We have put a team together now to start recovering those overpayments because we have identified some inflation in our payroll, of course, that inflation translates into pensions contributions.
“Those monies can be recovered and they are going to be recovered to form part of the IGR of the federal government,” Adeosun added.

Speaking on behalf of all agencies under the ministry, she advocated the need for performance-based remuneration for men of the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) with a view to discouraging corruption. She added that the ministry was looking into customs duty waivers that had been granted with the intention to determine their benefits and as well recommend the revocation of such waivers that are not beneficial to Nigeria.

In his submission, Comptroller General of NCS, Hameed Ali, emphasised that big companies like Dangote Group and Stallion had no need of waivers, wondering: “if the big companies are given waivers, is it the smaller companies that should then pay custom duties?”
Ali also expressed displeasure over the remuneration of men of NCS, saying some other non-revenue generating agencies of government receive better salaries than men of the service.

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