The Africa Media Roundtable Initiative (AMRI) has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to fortify the anti-corruption campaign which worked to great effect in his first term as president saying: ‘Mr. President, every well-meaning Nigerian is aware of the impact you have made thus far and are encouraging you to surpass your previous achievements in the next four years.’
Africa Media Roundtable Initiative is an international media and civil society organization with the objective to promote, defend and advocate policy formulation and leadership development also implored the president to reinforce the Treasury Single Account (TSA) policy in the constitution of the country given its reputation as the most efficient fiscal policy enacted in the history of Nigeria till date.
AMRI in a statement by Media Contact Adeyemi Omoluabi Executive Director said ‘it is indubitable that the brazen corruption which plagued the country in times past was curbed to a large extent during the first term of President Buhari owing to his audacious anti-corruption stance. Much of the success recorded so far under this administration stems from the overwhelming success of TSA.
‘TSA is one of the most significant achievements of the current Federal Government and the most potent and effective anti-corruption tool under the current administration of President Buhari. With a gross saving of N10 trillion, no public financial management policy has yielded as much reward as TSA. These achievements are of huge strategic significance in our national economic recovery efforts especially in these challenging times. Recall that Nigeria was only able to survive the last recession due to the intervention of SystemSpecs Remita as funds that could otherwise have been frittered away are now made available for infrastructural and developmental endeavours towards national progress. In recognition of its promotion of excellence, best practices and innovation, Remita won several awards locally and internationally.
‘But like with all revolutions, TSA has not escaped the talons of corrupt individuals who are bent on crippling the progress of the country by sabotaging its efficacy and plunging the nation back to dark yesteryears.
Recently, a so-called non-governmental organization, sponsored by those who wish to continue to perpetrate their notoriety and jeopardise the economic prosperity and sustainability of this country, is suggesting that the TSA contract was awarded to SystemSpecs without recourse to due process. This grand scheme would not be lost to anyone who has carefully followed the history of the TSA, as this is the third antic of this group in their inglorious quest.
In light of the foregoing background, it is indeed a traumatic irony to see orchestrations of events poised to dissipate goodwill, downplaying the gains created by the Remita technology for Nigeria.
We find this position as untenable as it is absurd due to the rigorous selection process SystemSpecs was subjected to before emerging the preferred provider of the technology behind the super-successful policy. Initially, as public records have it, CMA, a Swedish company was saddled with the task of powering the policy but after repeated delays and failures, the government turned to Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS). NIBSS performed the task but not without difficulties. The platform was limited in its functionality, hence the need to contact SystemSpecs to power the policy through its innovative Remita platform. If this does not constitute due process, then we would go further to jog the memories of both URGFP and its corrupt financiers.
It could be recalled that as far back as 2015, we have commended the government for the implementing the TSA policy through Remita and have proffered, measures to solidify this. Our position emanates from the outcome of the enquiry from the Senate. In 2017, the House of Representatives set up a panel headed by Honourable Nuhu Danburam to investigate the entire TSA in Nigeria. Hon. Danburam and his colleagues applauded SystemSpecs for its efforts in implementing the TSA policy whilst enjoining the federal government to settle its debt to the company. These recommendations and acclaim only raise the question as to why the National Assembly gave a clean bill of health to the TSA selection process and SystemSpecs but a recently-established NGO disagrees. If not for being on the payroll of the corruption advocates, why will an NGO be involved in the selection process of a company that has driven the implantation of Nigeria’s most successful public financial management policy? Nigerians must take caution that this ready-for-hire group should not be allowed to plunge the nation into unprecedent economic calamity that attempting to reinvent the wheel of progress will result into.
SystemSpecs emerged from various injustices unperturbed due to its patriotism, uprightness and pride in its ingenious technology which saved the economy from a collapse according to Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed.
Nevertheless, to further reinforce the value of TSA to the upward movement of Nigeria, we will refer to the N7.8 billion remittance of the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) to the coffers the Federal Government in 2012. Not only was this feat unprecedented, it also boils down to the implementation of TSA across board. JAMB’s remittance in 2018 surpasses the previous its previous remittances put together. Oloyede credited his achievement to the TSA policy enforced by President Buhari. TSA not only plugged the inherent loopholes in the system, but also exposed those who had benefitted from the hithero corrupt process.
Furthermore, if the testimony of Prof. Oloyede and Jamb does not suffice, we will like to remind the naysayers about the recently concluded TSA workshop organised by the Minister of Finance for emissaries from the Republic of Gambia. During the course of this visit, the Accountant General of Gambia, Mr. Momodou Lamin Bah, spoke about a recommendation from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on the implementation of TSA in Nigeria. According to Mr. Bah, IMF instructed Gambia to understudy the Nigerian process in order to inform their TSA implementation process. At the conclusion of this process, the Gambians commended the Nigerian government and SystemSpecs for sharing invaluable insights as regards the policy.
Moreover, the Director of Finance, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Salawu Zubair, explained in detail how Remita was selected to power the policy. According to Mr. Zubair, CBN, CMA and NIBSS attempted to power the policy but all fell short at some point hence the contract with SystemSpecs. Cynics and corruption advocates can easily glean this information online rather than subject themselves and their diminishing cash to bodies lacking the wherewithal to further their nefarious campaign.
Mr. President, every well-meaning Nigerian is aware of the impact you have made thus far and are encouraging you to surpass your previous achievements in the next four years. However, we are also aware that some things need to be done for you to do so. For instance, agencies who are partially complied to the TSA scheme need to be enrolled fully in order to reap the rewards of the policy. SystemSpecs, the Obalende-based company, must also be paid accordingly as its impact on the long-term sustenance of the country far outweighs the financial implications of the contract.