The federal government saves an average of N45 billion, monthly, from the implementation of the Treasury Single Account (TSA)
The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, disclosed this while signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on the TSA with the Government of The Gambia, in Abuja, yesterday.
She said that the N45 billion was being saved from what should have been interest payments by Ministries, Departs, and Agencies.
Her words, “Implementation of TSA has benefited Nigeria immensely. Among other verifiable benefits, we can now easily determine our aggregate cash balance which is critical for managing public finances at a time of acute fiscal constraints. In addition, we are saving an average of N45 billion monthly in interest payments.
“On the monetary policy side, we have better control over the money supply and therefore able rein in inflation and undue pressure on the Naira.
“Our foreign reserve position has also recorded appreciable improvement through the consolidation of Federal Government foreign currency earnings under the TSA.”
The co-operation between Nigeria and the Gambia, the minister said, would avail the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs of The Gambia of the vast knowledge, experience, and technical expertise that Nigeria has gained in the past 15 years of implementing TSA in particular and other Public Financial Management (PFM) reforms, in general.
According to her, “By so doing, The Gambia is properly guided as it implements its own TSA. The co-operation will enable The Gambia to leverage on the experience of Nigeria to build on our strengths while avoiding our mistakes.”
She advised the Gambian government to demonstrate proper political will in the implementation of the TSA.
The Minister advised that, as with all governance reforms, TSA would need strong political support to deal with the heavy lifting that comes with PFM reforms.
He words, “Do not embark on this journey if you are not confident that you have the buy-in of your topmost political leadership.
“It is the most potent antidote against the several headwinds that will try to undermine and derail your reform effort.
“Next in line is to assemble the right team of competent and committed reformers with in-depth knowledge of PFM. Upon that team will rest the responsibility of translating policy into action and by so doing, ensuring that your TSA expectations are met.
“There are more factors at play. You need, for instance, the financial resources and an enabling environment to drive reforms.
“The importance of synergy between the fiscal and monetary authorities cannot be over-emphasized. Equally important is the co-operation of other stakeholders: the parliament; the ministries, departments, and agencies of government; the banks, and service providers.
“Above all, the general public, on whose behalf government exists and manages public funds. They must be convinced that TSA and other reforms are being implemented in their interest and for the good of the country. As is the case in Nigeria, when you have their support; they will take it upon themselves to be the rampart against forces of resistance and any attempt at derailing the reforms.”
In her remarks, Ms. Ada Gaye, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance of The Gambia, on behalf of the delegation, expressed the determination of her country to implement the TSA.
She said, “The Gambia wants to efficiently manage its funds; the fragmentation of accounting systems in The Gambia is huge. It is, therefore, noteworthy for The Gambia to adopt TSA.
“Nigeria is the big brother while The Gambia is the small brother. We are happy to cement this brotherly love.”
Also speaking, the Gambian High Commissioner to Nigeria, Amadou Taal, said that Nigeria was a big example within the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) region.
He said, “We are trying to make reforms in our financial management. Therefore, this collaboration with Nigeria is very important to us. So, The Gambia Central Bank will get closer to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) so as to learn and get the necessary experience.”