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Melaye Misled Senate over N25b TSA ‘Fraud’; the Tinubu Connection

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Melaye and Tinubu

Senator representing Kogi West, Dino Melaye on Tuesday, raised alarm over “a massive corruption operation going on in the management of the Treasury Single Account, TSA.”

He further alleged that a firm, “Remita,” hired to manage the TSA, was making N25bn in one day in mopping up about N2.5trn on the loose.

In a motion co-sponsored by 35 senators, Melaye alleged that there were underhand practices in the management of the TSA.

He observed that “in the course of the operations of the TSA, the federal government on September 15 mopped up the sum of N2.5 trillion through its e-collection agent, Remita, which charges one percent of all money passing through it, the implication of which one percent of the N2.5tr mopped up on September 15 alone amounted to N25bn largesse to Remita for doing nothing”.  

On Wednesday, the Senate ordered its joint Committee on Finance, Banking and Other Financial Institutions and Public Accounts to probe the allegation that the e-Collection agent, Remita, had been paid 25 billion, being the 1 per cent commission it charged for the transfer of N2.5 trillion of federal government funds to the TSA.

Senate also recommended that FGN stop using Remita for the TSA Account.

There have been insinuations that Remita is owned by former Lagos State Governor, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu with some suggesting that Remita is taken from the combination with names of Tinubu and his wife Remmy, thus: REMITA = Remi+Tinubu+Ahmed

But What is Remita

Remita is an electronic courier service owned by SystemSpecs that rides on secured e-payment platforms to deliver funds to bank accounts and associated schedules to relevant bodies in pre-specified formats.

Further on the e-Payment/e-Collection Remita software, which the Senate on Wednesday resolved to probe, Elombah.com investigations reveal that the implementation of the modular solution was approved by the former CBN Governor who is currently the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Muhammad Sanusi II, and former CBN Deputy Governor, Operations, Mr. Tunde Lemo, in 2011 to facilitate the transfer of government revenue to the TSA.

Remita is an electronic platform that helps organizations (SMEs, Corporate organisations, Multinationals, State Governments, Government Agencies, NGOs, religious organizations, Resident Associations, Schools & Educational institutions, Hospitals & Health Institutions, Utility Companies, etc.) and Individuals RECEIVE an MAKE PAYMENTS easily.

Remita is a Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) licensed e-payment platform that makes it very EASY for all types of organizations (Big or small, private or public, profit oriented or NGO, etc.) and individuals RECEIVE and MAKE PAYMENT without any stress.

Remita is developed 100% in Nigeria by SystemSpecs-Nigeria’s foremost software company to meet international standards. With Remita, ANYONE can start receiving payments on their website in less than 48 hours with ZERO activation fee!

Also customers can pay you through a wide range of channels such as: your website, Internet Banking, Mobile Wallet, POS, or from ANY bank branch in Nigeria. The beauty of Remita is that irrespective of the channel customers use to pay you, you are able to monitor and track all payments online from anywhere you may be in the world.

Remita truly makes it very easy for you to set up Direct Debit mandates or Standing Order on your account in any bank in Nigeria to make regular payments (i.e. to your Parents, Children in school, Church, Cable TV or other subscriptions) without any stress

Today, Remita is in use by many individuals, public and private sector organisations that process over 500 billion naira worth of transactions on a monthly basis.

Adopted by the Central Bank of Nigeria for the payment and collections of funds on behalf of the Federal Government of Nigeria and used by all 22 commercial banks and over 400 micro finance banks, Remita has significantly assisted to revolutionize the e-payment industry in Nigeria.

Remita, developed by SystemSpecs, and voted many times as Nigeria’s Software of the Year.

Who are SystemSpecs

SystemSpecs is a software house with a focus on providing the most qualitative Human Capital Management and Financial software solutions for the Nigerian and African market. SystemSpecs offers applications that focus on the core aspects of your business.

Corporate Headquarters: 4th – 8th Floor, 136 Lewis Street, Lagos, Nigeria.

Branch: 3rd Floor, Right Wing, Labour House, Central Business District, Abuja

Date of Establishment: 1991

CEO: Mr. John Tani Obaro

Present Clientele Spread: Nigeria, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Equitorial Guinea, Zimbabwe

Board of Directors

Chairman: Dr. Kolade is a veteran broadcaster, a communicator, the quintessential information disseminator who is nationally and internationally renowned 

John Obaro Managing Director

Emmanuel Ocholi Director

Dr. Ernest Ndukwe Director

‘Deremi Atanda Executive Director

Dr. Emmanuel Eze Executive Director

Managing Director, John Obaro manages SystemSpecs. He has had a distinguished IT management career and is regarded as one of the most respected personalities in the Nigerian IT industry. 

Deremi Atanda Executive Director

Dr. Emmanuel Eze Executive Director

Paul Ibidun Group Head, Corporate Services

Demola Igbalajobi Group Head, Remita Services 

Uche Obiofuma Head, Abuja Operations

Udo Ngele AGM, Software Development

Gbenga Oludaisi Head, Remita Support & Operations Team

Abayomi Oniku Team Lead, Remita Business Development

Yemi Ajayi Principal Manager, Remita team

Understanding The Treasury Single Account (TSA) System – Things You Should Know – The Stalwart Report

Earlier in February, the Central Bank of Nigeria issued a circular directing all deposit money banks to implement the Remita e-Collection Platform. The Remita e-Collection is a technology platform deployed by the Federal Government to support the collection and remittance of all government revenue to a Consolidated Account domiciled with the CBN. This marked the beginning of the full implementation of Treasury Single Account (TSA) system in Nigeria.

Though Section 80 (1) of the 1999 Constitution as amended states “All revenues, or other moneys raised or received by the Federation (not being revenues or other moneys payable under this Constitution or any Act of the National Assembly into any other public fund of the Federation established for a specific purpose) shall be paid into and form one Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Federation”; successive governments have continued to operate multiple accounts for the collection and spending of government revenue in flagrant disregard to the provision of the constitution which requires that all government revenues be remitted into a single account.

It was not until 2012 that government ran a pilot scheme for a single account using 217 ministries, department and agencies as a test case. The pilot scheme saved the country about N500 billion in frivolous spending. The success of the pilot scheme motivated the government to fully implement TSA, leading to the directives to banks to implement the technology platform that will help accommodate all MDA’s in the TSA scheme. The recent directives by President Mohammed Buhari that all government revenues should be remitted to a Treasury Single Account is in consonance with this programme and in compliance with the provisions of the 1999 constitution.

But what is a Treasury Single Account?

In a nutshell, a Treasury Single Account is a public accounting system under which all government revenue, receipts and income and collected into one single account, usually maintained by the country’s Central Bank and all payments done through this account as well. The purpose is primarily to ensure accountability of government revenue, enhance transparency and avoid misapplication of public funds. The maintenance of a Treasury Single Account will help to ensure proper cash management by eliminating idle funds usually left with different commercial banks and in a way enhance reconciliation of revenue collection and payment.

How Is TSA Run?

With particular reference to Nigeria, the Central Bank has opened a Consolidated Revenue Account to receive all government revenue and effect payments through this account. This is the Treasury Single Account. All Ministries, Departments and Agencies are expected to remit their revenue collections to this account through the individual commercial banks who act as collection agents. This means that the money deposit banks will continue to maintain revenue collection accounts for MDA’s but all monies collected by these banks will have to be remitted to the Consolidated Revenue Accounts with the CBN at the end of each banking day. In other words, MDA’s accounts with money deposit banks must be zerorized at the end every banking day by a complete remittance to the TSA of all revenues collected. The implication is that banks will no longer have access to the float provided by the accounts they maintained for the MDA’s. Difference types of account could be maintained under a TSA arrangement and these may include the TSA main account, subsidiary or sub-accounts, transaction accounts and zero balance account. Other types of accounts that could operated include imprest accounts, transit accounts and correspondence accounts. These accounts are maintained for transaction purposes for funds flowing in and out of the TSA.

Benefits of TSA

From the foregoing, it is obvious that the primary benefit of a TSA is the mechanism it provides for proper monitoring of government receipts and expenditure. In the Nigerian case, it will help to block most if not all the leakages that have been the bane of the growth of the economy. We have a situation where some MDA’s manage their finances like independent empire and remit limited revenue to government treasuries. Under a properly run TSA, this is not possible as agencies of government are meant to spend in line with duly approved budget provisions. The maintenance of a single account for government will enable the Ministry of Finance monitor fund flow as no agency of government is allowed to maintain any operational bank account outside the oversight of the ministry of finance.

Finally, the implementation of this programme therefore is a critical step towards curbing corruption in public finance. This is in line with the with the commitment of the current administration to combat corrupt practices, eliminate indiscipline in public finance and ensure adequate fund flow that will be channeled to critical sectors of the economy to catalyze development. Nigerians are excited at the directive by the President Buhari as this will mean that some government agencies that have been known to be withholding funds from the Federal Government are now under compulsion to remit monies to federal treasuries. These agencies include : Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Nigeria Immigration Service (NIMS), Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) amongst others.

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