Why all government agencies must be on TSA – Remita MD

Adebari Oguntoye
Adebari Oguntoye
Deremi Atanda, REMITA boss

The Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of REMITA, Deremi Atanda, has stressed the need to ensure that all agencies of the federal government are captured on the Treasury Single Account (TSA) to promote accountability and transparency.

He said this on the heels of the probe by the House of Representatives Public Accounts Committee into the operations of the TSA, part of its responsibility to examine the accounts and reports of Ministries, Departments, and Agencies of the Federal Government.

Atanda stated that not capturing all agencies of the government increases the risk of unaccountability and the potential loss of much-needed revenue to the federal government.

He said: “Some MDAs are operating outside TSA. The investigations have unravelled that some MDAs are only partially complying with the TSA Revenue policy while some are in absolute breach.

“The core objective of the Treasury Single Account initiative is to create a single window through which all inflows and outflows of government can be monitored in real-time for transparency and accountability and especially for the effective management of government’s cash assets.”

He also rued that Forex collections are done outside of TSA

He stressed that the TSA was designed to create a single monitoring window for all government inflows and outflows, regardless of currency.

He, however said forex revenue collections still occur outside of the TSA framework.

Atanda said this implies that foreign exchange revenues earned by the federal government are at risk of being diverted into the pockets of unscrupulous entities within MDAs that receive revenue in foreign currency.

“At a time when the Nigerian Government is looking for ways to generate Forex and stymie the devaluation of the Naira due to increased demand for the US Dollar, this should not be allowed to happen,” he said.

He reiterated that 34 Trillion Naira have so far been collected through TSA since 2015.

He said: “Since inception in 2015 under the Buhari regime, the government has received payments to the tune of a whopping 34 trillion Naira through the TSA. It is the first time the country is able to have visibility and account for its cash assets in real-time. This was impossible before 2015, when different MDAs operated about 20,000 accounts in different banks, with many things happening behind the scenes.”

He said the government can track and account for every single transaction through a unique Remita Retrieval Reference (RRR) code that is attached to every revenue inflow.

“The RRR (Remita Retrieval Reference) is an outstanding feature of the payment gateway deployed by the CBN that enables the government to know the MDAs that received the money, the account into which the money went, the date and time the money was paid, what the money was paid for, and the name of the person that made the payment. RRR seems to have become the ultimate reconciliation reference point for all payers, banks, and MDAs for all government revenue collections,” he said.

He also pointed out that the TSA collection fee is not one percent.

He said the issue of the fee paid to the TSA service providers had been laid to rest by the House investigations.

“This was confirmed to be N150 flat+VAT for all payments, irrespective of the amount being paid. The CBN circulars of 2018 and 2020 presented at the sittings confirmed this,” he said.

He clarified that Remita is not owned by the government.

He said: “Remita is the name of the company and, also the name of the payment gateway adopted by the CBN for the operation of the FGN TSA. The company is a subsidiary of SystemSpecs, a Nigerian software technology investment group that also owns 4 other tech companies.”

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