Treasury Single Account’s September 15 Deadline Is Realistic, Says Accountant General

agf-treasury-single-accountThe Accountant General of the Federation, Mr Ahmed Idris, on Friday lashed out at Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDAs) who had suggested that the September 15 deadline to maintain a Treasury Single Account was unrealistic.

Mr Idris assured the Federal Government that the deadline would not only be met, but implemented.

He emphasised that implementation guidelines had been developed and would soon be made available to all MDAs, and to the general public.

Recently, President Buhari gave a directive to the MDAs to shut down all existing accounts and implement a Treasury Single Account.

This decision is meant to help block what the Federal Government had described as leakages in the system, promote transparency and facilitate compliance with sections 80 and 162 of the Nigerian Constitution.

Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo had also assured Nigerians that the Treasury Single Account (TSA) policy of the Federal Government had come to stay, saying that it is part of the adjustments that the present administration hoped to implement to make life more meaningful for Nigerians.

Taraba State Accountant-General Arraigned For Alleged N1.56 Billion Fraud

Joel-J-Lenbang-BNThe Economic and Financial crimes Commission (EFCC) has arraigned the Taraba State Accountant- General,  Mr Joel Joseph Lenbang, over the diversion of  N1.56 billion Naira  state funds  at the Jalingo Federal High Court  .

The Accountant-General was arraigned on Wednesday before Justice Donatus Nwabueze Okorowo for defrauding the Taraba State Government.

Lenbang, was docked on an 8-count charge, including obtaining false pretence and abuse of office, offences contrary to and punishable under the Advanced Fee Fraud and Other Related Offences Act, 2006

EFCC’s Head, Media and publicity, Wilson Uwujaren confirmed that  Mr. Lenbang allegedly disguised and withdrew monies for sundry payments on behalf of the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), as well as payment of Bank Commissions on Turn Over (COT) and Value Added Tax (VAT) which became a monthly affair making a total sum of N1,567,226,557.081 between January 2012 and December 2013.

Although Lenbang pleaded not guilty to the 8-count charge levied against him, the prosecuting counsel, Al Qasim Ja’afar, applied for a date to commence trial but the counsel to the accused filed a motion for bail.

The Judge, Okorowo adjourned the case till July 11, 2014 for hearing and remanded the accused in prison.

Mr Uwajuren said the EFCC swung into action following a petition received from a concerned Taraba State indigene, sometime in February 2014, alleging massive looting of Taraba state funds.

The petition, according to him, triggered investigation of the lifestyle of some of the officers mentioned in the petition and who were believed to be living above their means

2014 Budget: Nigeria Is Filling Holes With Earth From A New Pit

Markets analyst with TTAC, Tunji Andrew, says Nigeria’s 2014 budget has signs that the “nation is filling holes with earth from a new pit,” as freed key recurrent expenditure in 2014 is tied to new recurrent expenditure.

He explained that Wages and Bills in the 2014 budget is about 1.72 trillion Naira up from 1 trillion Naira in 2013, despite the unbundling of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria. “We should have a lower wage bill in 2014,” he said.

“With close inspection, you will realise that the Federal Government created new Ministries Departments and Agencies in 2014. So, there has been a huge factor of recurrent expenditure going up to about 3.5 trillion Naira in 2014 up from 3 trillion Naira in 2013.”

He said that it would have been expected that the government would go into aggressive capital expenditure, creating key infrastructure to push growth and create jobs through foreign direct investments, which he stressed would only come when the infrastructure need to make business thrive in Nigeria was in place.

“The government seems to believe it want to go on the path of using policies and recurrent expenditure and there seems to be lack of will to be able to create key civil service reform.

“We have an over-bloated civil service that is gulping 1.7 trillion Naira on a yearly basis and the government seems not to be able to do anything about it. We need to look at those books,” Mr Andrew Said.

He, however, explained that the budget was a more prudent one as it was less than that of 2013 by 29 billion dollars, but insisted that the reduction in the allocations to some government ministries should have been channelled into capital expenditure to ensure that the budget, christened ‘Budget of Job Creation And Inclusive Growth’ would create the expected jobs and inspire the needed growth.