Stephen Ukandu, Umuahia
Chairman, Board of Trustees (BoT) of the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Senator Adolphus Wabara, has lambasted President Bola Tinubu, over the directive by the Federal Government to discontinue with the Treasury Single Account (TSA), and switch to Sub-Recurrent Account.
The former Senate President who described the new policy as “a panacea for corruption,” said it had further confirmed that Tinubu is only cosmetic on the war against corruption.
He said that the new policy would rather pave the way for sharp malpractices in revenue generation and remittances.
Recall that Federal Ministry of Finance, had on December 28, 2023, directed that all Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), fully funded by the Federal Government should remit 100 per cent of their revenues into a Sub-Recurrent Account, a sub-component of the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF), where the Federal Government will now receive and consolidate its revenue earnings.
The new policy future requires that agencies not funded by the Federal Government should remit 50 per cent of their generated revenues.
Ex-President Goodluck Jonathan’s Minister for Finance, and the incumbent Director General of World Trade Organization, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, conceptualised TSA to check corruption but the policy was implemented by Tinubu’s predecessor, Muhammadu Buhari.
Senator Wabara said that although TSA was not Buhari’s brainchild, it was the only policy that portrayed his administration as anti-corruption Government.
In the new policy, the Federal Government claimed it would help prevent waste and improve revenue generation, fiscal discipline, accountability and transparency.
Senator Wabara, however, disagreed with claims, accusing the Federal Government of using the new policy as a ploy to further deplete the treasury.
He expressed disappointment in President Tinubu for giving nod to the new policy which he said would further ruin the Nigeria economy.
Senator Wabara who said that he specialised on TSA in his doctorate degree programme challenged the Federal Government to a debate on the alleged gains of the new policy.
“I obtained my Ph.D defending my dissertation on Treasury Single Account. I am extremely disappointed with this decision of Tinubu.
“The only policy that attempted to showcase or portray the corrupt administration of Buhari as fighting corruption was his TSA policy.
“This Tinubu’s partial TSA policy is a panacea for corruption. It gives the unfortunate impression that the Tinubu administration is not cut out to fight corruption but unwittingly creating channels to siphon money. There are no two ways about it.
“As a scholar on this subject, I challenge the Tinubu administration to give Nigerians one good reason for this policy change other than to encourage corruption.”
The former Senate President tasked Tinubu on financial transparency and prudence “if he wants Nigeria to survive.”
Below is part of the text of the new policy:
“All Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAS) that are fully funded through the annual federal government budget (receiving personnel, overhead and capital allocation) and on the schedule of Fiscal Responsibility Act, 2007 and any addition by the Federal Ministry of Finance should remit one hundred per cent of their Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) to the Sub-Recurrent Account, which is a Sub-component of the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF).
“Agencies and departments that are partly funded by the federal government – having budgetary allocations for capital or overhead expenditures – are expected to remit 50 per cent of their gross revenue while statutory revenue like “tender fees, contractor’s registration, sales of government assets, etc should be remitted one 100 per cent to the sub-recurrent account,” it added.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation shall open new TSA Sub-Accounts for all Federal Government Agencies/Parastatals listed on the schedule of Fiscal Responsibility Act, 2007 and any additions by the Federal Ministry of Finance, except where expressly exempted.
“The new account opened for Agencies/Parastatal shall be credited with inflows in the old revenue-collecting accounts based on the new policy implementation of 50 per cent auto deduction in line with Finance Act, 2020 and Finance Circular, 2021, 50per cent cost to revenue ratio,” it added.
“All ministries and agencies concerned are expected to fully comply with the directive except when expressly permitted to act differently.”