By Victor Ahiuma-Young
The umbrella body for employers in the country, Nigeria Employers Consultative Association, NECA, yesterday in Lagos, warned that the newly introduced Treasury Single Account, TSA, policy by the Federal Government would cripple the operations of self-funding and service-rendering parastatals with statutory responsibilities to deliver public goods and services.
Specifically, among others, NECA contended that the responsibilities of Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund, NSITF, that manages the Employee Compensation Scheme, ECS; Industrial Training Fund, ITF, responsible for training funds reimbursements and National Health Insurance Scheme, NHIS, that are saddled with payments of capitations and other obligations to health management organizations, HMOs, and, in effect, care providers had been highly curtailed by TSA.
Director-General of NECA, Mr. Segun Oshinowo, at a gathering of stakeholders, called for the exemption of NSITF, ITF, NHIS and similar bodies as done to Bank of Industry, BoI, Bank of Agriculture, BoA, Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria, FMBN, to enable them deliver effective services to the public.
According to him: “The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, issued a circular directing all deposit money banks to implement the e-collection platform deployed by the Federal Government to support the collection and remittance of all government revenue to a consolidated account domiciled with CBN.
“This marked the beginning of the full implementation of Treasury Single Account, TSA, system in Nigeria.
“Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association, NECA, as the voice of business commends the initiative as it provides the mechanism for proper monitoring of government receipts and expenditure.
“We do not doubt that the TSA will help to block most, if not all, leakages that have been the bane of the growth of the economy.
“The only snag in the new dispensation is that the activities of self-funding and service-rendering parastatals, with statutory responsibilities to deliver public goods and services, have been highly curtailed if not paralysed.
Calls for exemption
“The funds of these agencies should not be treated as revenue to government as the acts setting them up mandates the agencies to render annual income and expenditure on the funds under their custody.
“We, therefore, canvass that the exemption that has been given to agencies such as Bank of Industry, BoI; Bank of Agriculture, BoA, and Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria, FMBN, should be extended to similar agencies and parastatals.”