The Accountant General of the Federation has said the Federal Government has no means of monitoring in real-time the revenues accruing to the country through the Treasury Single Account (TSA).
The TSA is a centralised bank account used by government agencies to receive revenues. Previously, ministries, departments and agencies operated thousands of accounts for different purposes, making it difficult to track government funds.
The government claimed that the TSA has helped reduce fraud and instances of officials stealing public funds, but critics say it has not fully addressed the problem of illegal diversion of revenues. In 2018, the government said the implementation of a TSA saved N24 billion monthly.
At a meeting with the Senate Committee on Finance, the Accountant General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris, said despite advancement in technology, his office had no way of knowing what came into the account in real-time.
Alhaji Idris appeared before the panel to defend the OAGF’s 2020 budget performance as well as 2021 budget proposals. In the 2021 budget proposal he submitted, the agency proposed N3.9 billion for personnel cost, N483 million for capital expenditure, and N752 million for overhead cost.
He was asked if his office had a software application that monitors the revenue that comes into the coffers of the government on a real-time basis. Mr Idris responded in the negative.
He said his office, instead, directly deducts revenue from accounts of about 60 agencies — an act the Senate committee described as illegal.
“We don’t have any,” he said. “The OAGF is already operating a mechanism through which on a monthly or quarterly basis, as the case may be, will make a direct deduction on revenue accounts of revenue-generating agencies through their relevant TSA accounts.
“All the revenue accounts of agencies of the government who are on TSA, are ‘visible’ to our office…”