By Chris Ochayi
ABUJA – The Federal Government, yesterday, said it has continued to save up to N24.7 billion monthly as a result of Treasury Single Account, TSA, policy.
The government also boasted that within the last two and half years in office, about N108 billion has been saved from removal of maintenance fees payable to banks before the advent of TSA.
A professor of Economics from the Nassarawa State University Uche Uwaleke who gave an in-depth assessment of the achievements of President Muhammadu Buhari administration, however, said the sudden and unexpected drop in crude oil price from a peak of US$114.6-O/bbl in June 2014 to under US$30] bbl by February 2016 created financial crises for the government.
Prof. Uwaleke, while speaking yesterday, in Abuja at the week-long leadership training programme organised under the auspices of the National Committee of Buhari Support Groups, NCBSG, for its coordinators nationwide, said in spite of the dwindling economy, the Buhari led administration has expended over N1.2 trillion on capital/infrastructure projects nationwide.
According to him, “Effective implementation of the Treasury Single Account, entrenching transparency and accountability, N108 billion has been saved from removal of maintenance fees payable to banks before TSA.
“The nation is being saved N24.7 billion monthly with the full implementation of the TSA and implementation of the Bank Verification Number (BVN), thus tackling corruption by plugging loopholes for siphoning of public fund and tracking of illicit funds through multiple accounts
He said further that the Buhari led administration has expended over N1.2 trillion on capital/infrastructure projects nationwide last year was a milestone in the nation’s history.
He added, “Improvement in transport infrastructure, rail and road; construction work ongoing on the Lagos-lbadan Expressway, renovation of Abuja international Airport runway, completion of Abuja Kaduna Railway among others.
“Support to states: Bailout of cash crunch states; about N689 billion to 27 states of the federation to pay salaries in 2015. Complete refund of Paris loan deductions to states (unprecedented) played a part.”
On Social investment, Uwaleke said N-Power Volunteer Scheme has created jobs for over 200,000 unemployed graduates in all the 36 states and the FCT.
“Ongoing Government Enterprise and Empowerment (GEEP) Scheme; commenced in November 2016 in collaboration with the Bank of industry, where soft loans ranging from N10, 000 to N100, 000 have been given to over 189,000.
“Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) scheme, under which about 25,000 less privileged Nigerians so far are now being funded with the monthly NS,000 stipend in 9 pilot States (Bauchi, Borno, Cross Rivers, Ekiti, Kwara, Kogi, Niger, Osun and Oyo). More beneficiaries are expected to be added in more states.
“Nigeria successfully issued two Eurobonds (US$4.5bn), a Sukuk Bond (100 billion Naira), a Diaspora Bond (US $300m), and the first Sovereign Climate Bond in Africa, raising billions of dollars for infrastructure spending. This is testimony to investors confidence‘
“The federal government launched a Tax Amnesty scheme (VAIDS) designed to increase tax awareness and compliance, and reduce incidence of tax evasion. The Voluntary Income and Asset Declaration Scheme is expected to ramp up non-oil before it closes in March 2018.”
In his remarks earlier, the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the group, Senator Abu Ibrahim who was represented by Zakari Aliu said the aim of the training was to help build effective leadership capacity among the members of the support group ahead of the next general elections.
He added that the group who receive such training will help in spreading the message of the successes recorded by President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.
One of discussants, Dr. Ben Obi of the department of Economics University of Abuja, also gave his assessment of Buhari led government said the APC government have been able to deliver successfully some of the promises made in 2015.