August 18, 2017

TSA: FG appoints 2 firms to audit banks’ remittances

keystone bank

Banking hall

By Emma Ujah, Abuja Bureau Chief

ABUJA—The Federal Government has appointed Pricewater house Cooper as well as Ernst and Young for a comprehensive audit of deposit banks’ remittances to the Treasury Single Account, TSA.

The Director of Funds, Office of the Accountant General of the Federation, Mr Alexander Adeyemi, disclosed this at a workshop in Abuja, yesterday.

He said: “The AGF has given approval for the audit of the entire TSA and possibly we have very reputable accounting firms like Pricewaterhouse Cooper, Ernst and Young and they are there now in the field doing that audit of the entire TSA so that any money that is still remaining in commercial banks believe we would be able to discover them.

“They are doing a three-legged reconciliation. We are starting out with the balance of the MDAs (Ministries, Departments and Agencies) before the presidential directive. Then we are proceeding to CBN in terms of how much was moved, was it the total money in banks? We are also auditing that.

“We are also auditing what is the balance now in these various accounts so it’s a comprehensive thing that is currently going on. I must say that the truth about the position of things and some of the lapses we are seeing, especially among the banks not adhering to the presidential directive, will surely come out.”

The federal government’s decision to audit the banks’ remittances was based on financial intelligence that some of them had failed to remit all federal government funds with them to the TSA domiciled in the Central Bank of Nigeria.

Indeed, seven of such banks had been dragged to court over the breaches but the federal government was pressured to withdraw the suits against them only a few days ago.

Mr. Adeyemi disclosed that SystemSpec, the consultant to TSA, had demanded the payment of N12 billion but noted that the amount could be less after proper scrutiny.

He added that the President had given approval for the payment but did not state the amount.

“The president has approved the amount to be paid to Remita for their services and we have been working in line with that presidential directive. The only problem is that Remita is looking before the directive that there is an agreement with the government.

“But we are saying that looking at the quantum of transaction of the TSA, if you calculate it based on that, the money that would be paid would be running into over N12bn.

“Initially when it started, nobody knew it would be like this and we looked at it again and government said let us look at it again and that is why government has put a committee to work round the clock on this and I believe between now and next week, all that would be cleared.”