The Federal Government has commenced an independent audit to ascertain the rate of compliance by Deposit Money Banks in the remittance of government funds into the Treasury Single Account.
The TSA is a platform which was used by the government to unify all its accounts by ensuring that all monies belonging to the federal government are kept with the Central Bank of Nigeria.
The initiative which took off fully in September 2015 had been complied with by over 900 agencies of government with 20,000 bank accounts closed while over N5tn had been moved from banks to the CBN.
There had been controversies whether all the banks actually complied fully with the directive following discoveries last week that about seven banks had yet to remit a total sum of $793m being government funds into the TSA.
But speaking in Abuja at a two day workshop for finance journalists on the TSA and other public financial management reforms, the Director, Funds, Office of the Accountant General of the Federation, Alexander Adeyemi, said a comprehensive audit of the remittances by banks is being carried out by the office.
He said the audit which is being conducted by renowned accounting firms such as Pricewaterhouse Coopers and Ernst and Young would focus on how much of government funds was government funds in banks before the presidential directive was given, how much was actually moved and what was still being held by banks.
He said, “The AGF (Accountant General of the Federation) has given out approval for the audit of the entire TSA and possibly we have very reputable accounting firms like Pricewaterhouse Cooper, Ernst and Young and they are there now in the field doing that audit of the entire TSA so that any money that is still remaining in commercial banks we believe we would be able to discover them.
“They are doing a three-legged reconciliation. We are starting out from the balance of the MDAs (Ministries, Departments and Agencies) before the presidential directive. Then we are proceeding to CBN in terms of how much was moved, was it the total money in banks? We are also auditing that.
“We are also auditing what is the balance now in these various accounts and so it’s a real comprehensive thing that is presently going on. I must say that some of the lapses that we are seeing especially among the banks not adhering to the presidential directive the truth will surely come out.
“So there is no easy way for them because some few weeks ago, more monies were discovered from some of those commercial banks and they are taking steps that those monies are brought back into the TSA.
“Government is adequately putting in place mechanism to monitor and ensure that these funds are paid back into government coffers. The TSA is a wonderful scheme and it’s something that we need to encourage.”