TSA: The Return Of Financial Discipline In Imo State
By Ekene Bob-Ekechukwu
Treasury Single Account (TSA) is a financial policy in use in several countries all over the world. It was proposed by the federal government of Nigeria in 2012 under the Jonathan Administration and was fully implemented by the Buhari Administration. The main thrust of this policy is to consolidate all inflows from all agencies of government into a single account at the Central Bank of Nigeria. Efficient management and control of government’s cash resources greatly rely on government banking arrangements.
In the past, Imo State like many other low income States, employed fragmented systems in handling government receipts and payments. During the tenure of Rochas Okorocha the government operated over 250 bank accounts for collection of taxes alone. Such act of financial recklessness gave room for leakages whereby funds were deliberately drained from the Treasury.
This dubious financial arrangement is what accounted for the over 200 Billion Naira debt incurred by that administration, because government had to borrow since funds meant for development of the State were apparently looted due to these leakages. In fact, the State would have experienced total economic collapse had Okorocha installed his son-in-law as Governor, to continue with the same nefarious financial practice.
However, by introducing TSA, Gov. Emeka Ihedioha has made it abundantly clear that he intends to run a transparent financial system.
By establishing a unified structure as where all government funds are collected in one account, the Governor would reduce borrowing costs, extend credit and improve government’s fiscal policy among other benefits to government.The introduction of the TSA policy by His Excellency, is a cerebral decision which is vital in reducing the proliferation of bank accounts operated by Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) towards promoting financial accountability among governmental organs. The compliance of the policy by MDAs will largely boost the ailing economy of the State.
Just as the TSA initiative enabled the Federal Government of Nigeria to take full control of over 3 trillion Naira ($15 billion) of its cash assets as at the end of the first quarter of 2016, it is expected that Imo State government will also save billions of Naira with TSA.
This means that on the long run, the instability witnessed in the welfare of workers and pensioners will be a thing of the past. This also implies that there will be enough funds to develop the State infrastructurally and otherwise. It is also expected that the Governor will take further steps to establish a legal basis to ensure its robustness and stability. This will require a Bill to be transmitted to the House of Assembly to make a law enshrining TSA in the State’s financial system.
This idea of TSA could only have come from a personality like Rt. Hon Emeka Ihedioha, who is adequately prepared to lead the State. He didn’t become Governor by accident but throughout his 12 years in the House of Representatives (4 of which he served as Deputy Speaker and Speaker), he was equipped to govern the State as he is doing presently.
The era of fiscal recklessness whereby one company like Zigreat International Company Limited was allegedly paid over N20 Billion without due process is over. That is why the good people of Imo State should continously support the policies of this government and avoid any thing that will take the State back to Egypt.
By Barr. Ekene Bob-Ekechukwu; firstname.lastname@example.org