MDAs Rush To Beat Deadline On STA
Ministries, Agencies and Departments of the Federal Government are racing to beat the September 15 deadline given them to close their accounts with commercial banks for a single account with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
Many of them had already complied with the directive, although they complained that the directive would affect their operations as they have government bureaucracy to content with under the new arrangement. They also expressed fear that they might not be able to cope with emergency situations henceforth.
The acting Director General of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency NIMASA, Mr Haruna Baba Jauro said last week that his agency already has an account with the apex bank as directed by the Federal Government, adding the consultants from the CBN were being awaited on how to maintain the books and the modalities of operating the account.
According to him the CBN consultants are expected to give the agency the software to use. “They will advise us on what next we are going to do, especially the way to operate the account.”
The General Manager, corporate affairs, Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Mr. Yakubu Dati said his agency was complying with the directive, adding that it was working closely with the Accountant General’s office on the matter.
“We are complying. We are working closely with the Accountant General’s office. We don’t have problem with the directive. We are only seeking clarification so as to streamline things because of our peculiarity. We are also asking the people doing business with us to pay into the account with the CBN,” he said
The managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority Alhaji Habib Abdullahi also confirmed compliance by his Agency to the Single Treasury Account directive
But sources close to the NPA and FAAN said a position paper on the matter had been sent to the government on the need not to make the policy a general matter
The source said it was wrong to classify all agencies as revenue generating agency, adding some generate money to make more money.
According to our source, some agencies are service oriented and the money they generate are expended on the provision of services that will add value to operations and the system, some of which are crucial for the survival of the system. He said by paying into a single account and relying on yearly budgetary allocation, operations would be subjected to government bureaucracy.
“We are service oriented agency. We generate money in order to render service to our customers because Maritime and aviation are international businesses. There could be emergency situations that are not captured in the budget because they are not expected. The agencies will have to go through bureaucracy of government to get them sorted out. This will not work and that is why we are making them to realise the implication of this thing they are doing. The best they could have done is to step up their oversight activities to ensure transparency and accountability and to ensure regular remittance of substantial revenue to the Federation account. Agency like NIMASA and the Federal Inland Revenue Service, which are just tax collectors and add no value to the system can do that not agencies like NPA and FAAN, the source said
President Muhammadu Buhari had last Monday given all Ministries, Departments and Agencies up till September 15 to either or face sanctions.
A statement by the Assistant Director (Media Relations) in the Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation (HOCSF) Mr. Mohammed Manga, said government had observed that a number of MDAs had yet to comply with the directive on the TSA.
The implementation of the TSA, is expected to aid transparency and facilitate compliance with Sections 80 and 162 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended)