By Ike Uchechukwu
CALABAR—Cross River State Finance Commissioner, Mr Asuquo Ekpenyong Jnr, has said that the introduction of Ministerial Treasury Single Account in the state has eliminated idle bank account balances and plugged the traditional leakages.
The Commissioner, who stated this during an interactive session with newsmen in Calabar, yesterday, noted that the treasury management system of all public sector banks had served to shore up revenue and reduce wastages as well as improve accountability and transparency in public finance management.
He said that the current administration decided to be prudent by introducing fiscal discipline in the management of the state’s meagre financial resources.
His words: “At the outset of this administration, we implemented the ministerial treasury single account in order to eliminate idle bank account balances and plug traditional leakages.
“With the TSA, there is fiscal discipline in the management of the state’s meagre financial resources as it is often said within the state’s finance cluster that this tactful management of expenditure makes N1 go the distance of N100.
“The outcome of these policies has also had positive multiplier effects on the welfare of public servants as this administration always pays its workforce on or before the 25th of every month to ensure that there is food on the table of the common man.”
“This may seem elementary to the uninformed but these prompt salary payments are in spite of the fact that Cross River receives the second lowest net statutory allocation from the federation in the last two years and in some months, receive a zero net statutory allocation.”
He dismissed insinuations that TSA policy slows down projects implementation and brings untold hardship as cash flow is not allowed, maintaining that the system allows for better project implementation and cash flow management as the treasury is always aware of its cash position.
On why the administration of Governor Ben Ayde embarked on massive infrastructural development, the commissioner explained that there was an evident gap between the state’s development and key infrastructure projects
He said that it was on this note that the administration was leveraging on the Public Private Partnership model to actualize its visions, while prudently managing its current financial resources to achieve pre-construction milestones as well as actualizing relatively smaller developmental projects.
According to him, construction work has been completed at the Calabar garment factory while work is on-going at the industrial park, Calabar pharmaceutical company and rice seedling centre.