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TSA expands Remita’s inputs to economy, demand for fair play

The implementation of the Treasury Single Account (TSA), a centralised system, designed to consolidate all governmental revenues into a single account, has streamlined processes and augmented transparency across ministries and agencies.

At the forefront of TSA’s success is Remita, an e-payment platform developed by SystemSpecs, which has played an indispensable role in the initiative’s success.

However, recent controversies have raised questions about Remita’s contributions, leading to a series of inquiries by the House of Representatives into alleged revenue leakages. This discussion aims to contextualise the success of TSA and explore how Remita has contributed to this achievement, against the backdrop of Senate investigations.

 The concept of TSA was introduced during President Goodluck Jonathan’s tenure, but it was President Muhammadu Buhari who fully implemented the policy in 2015.

This strategic move required all Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) to deposit their funds into a single account held at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), marking an end to the previous practice where funds were scattered across various Deposit Money Banks (DMBs). The implementation aimed to curb the practice of banks lending government funds back to the government at exorbitant interest rates, which had been a significant drain on the nation’s resources.

Before the advent of TSA, Nigeria’s financial landscape was fragmented, with over 17,000 government accounts dispersed across various banks. This disarray rendered the monitoring and management of public funds nearly impossible. The introduction of TSA signalled a significant shift towards fiscal responsibility.

The consolidation of these accounts under the aegis of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has been instrumental in curbing corruption and enhancing the government’s capacity to manage its resources.

The pivotal moment was the selection of SystemSpecs’ Remita to facilitate this monumental task. Remita’s robust technology provided the necessary infrastructure to handle the intricate web of transactions, proving to be a cornerstone in the success of TSA.

Remita’s selection to operate the TSA platform followed a thorough competitive process. The government’s quest for a robust e-payment and e-collection system for government receipts initially led them to consider the Nigerian Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS), jointly owned by the CBN and commercial banks. However, after a series of rigorous evaluations and competitive presentations, it became clear that Remita was the superior choice.

The platform effectively addressed all the requirements laid out by the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation (OAGF), CBN, and their external consultants. Remita’s ability to support TSA’s e-payment and e-collection of government receipts was unmatched, showcasing its technological edge and readiness to handle the nation’s fiscal operations.

The decision to select Remita was primarily made by the CBN, which bears the responsibility for providing the payment gateway. Despite the involvement of the OAGF in the process, it was the CBN’s endorsement that ultimately granted Remita the mandate to run the TSA

Remita’s success demonstrates Nigerian technological prowess, offering a superior solution when other foreign RTGS systems proved inadequate for the federal government’s payment needs. The SystemSpecs’ indigenous solution not only met the requirements but also exceeded expectations, earning the platform international recognition and accolades.

The financial milestones achieved through TSA are remarkable. By December 2015, over N3 trillion had been remitted into federal coffers, marking a stark contrast to previous years where such inflows were susceptible to diversion. The TSA’s role became even more pivotal as Nigeria navigated the economic turbulence caused by plummeting oil prices. The savings accrued via TSA provided a much-needed buffer, underscoring the initiative’s strategic importance in national economic recovery efforts.

These achievements are of huge strategic significance in our national economic recovery efforts, especially in these challenging times. Funds that could otherwise have been frittered away are now made available for infrastructural and developmental endeavours towards national progress.

 Despite Remita’s significant contributions to Nigeria’s economy, the company often finds itself under scrutiny with each change in government. This treatment sends a dangerous message to upcoming generations of patriotic Nigerians and the outside world that the time-honoured virtues of business integrity, accountability, diligence, professionalism, and patriotism might not matter in this clime.

While investigations are essential for ensuring transparency and accountability, Remita’s consistent performance and commitment to transparency warrant a shift in perspective. Instead of being subjected to repeated investigations, perhaps the focus should be on leveraging Remita’s efficiency and expertise to further bolster the government’s revenue collection efforts. It’s crucial to remember that Remita’s success translates to the government’s success

The TSA initiative, powered by Remita’s technology, has given Nigeria control over its finances and unparalleled tracking capabilities. his success presents a prime opportunity not only to solidify these advancements but also to consider their application beyond national borders.

Remita’s innovative solutions make it a trailblazer in African technology, showcasing the country’s ability to harness technology for collective value generation. Its accomplishments warrant international recognition and adoption, making it a model for transparent financial governance.

Despite persistent scrutiny, which some have termed a relentless pursuit, Remita’s story serves as a compelling case study for economic diversification and fintech innovation, demonstrating the power of local ingenuity to drive systemic change. Its novel solutions for public fund management and private sector contributions make it a beacon of indigenous innovation, worthy of international emulation.

 

 

 

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