The Federal Government has said that it began full implementation of the Treasury Single Account TSA in March 2015 contrary to earlier beliefs that the scheme took off in 2016.

The government had introduced the TSA policy, which led to the closure of over 400 bank accounts belonging to government’s Ministries, Departments and Agencies MDAs as part of its new internal control measures and which requires that all payments to these MDAs go through the TSA account first before disbursements are made to them.

Coordinator of the TSA in the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation, Sylva Okolieaboh, who played host in Abuja on Monday to a Gambian delegation which came to Nigeria to understudy the implementation of the TSA in Nigeria, also disclosed that turnover of transactions since the takeoff of the scheme is over N30trillion.

According to him, the government began partial implementation of the scheme in 2012 while its full implementation started in March 2015.

“From 2012 when we started the TSA, and you look at the volume of transactions now, I think you will be looking at something in the region of N30trillion. But like I said, that is in terms of transaction volume, not in terms of balances or anything, so we are looking at the turnover not the actual balances, which should be in excess of N30 trillion.

“When we started the full implementation of the TSA sometime around March 2015, a lot of people then didn’t believe us. We are very happy that as at today, what we are doing has attracted so much international attention. It is not only The Gambia, we are expecting Ethiopia in the next four weeks and then another country, maybe in the next six weeks and we are aware that the international community appreciates the strides we have made in implementing TSA in Nigeria”, he said.

Meanwhile, Minister of Finance, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, who also hosted the delegation in her office, said that the TSA has made the management of Federal Government’s funds much easier. According to her, the account which is domiciled with the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, as the account holder, with the MDAs as sub-account holders, runs on a Remita platform.

The Gambian High Commissioner to Nigeria, H.E Amedou Taal, who led the delegation while speaking earlier, made a strong case for concerted efforts by Nigeria and The Gambia and other member nations of the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, towards achieving a single currency in the sub-region.

According to him, a single currency in ECOWAS would facilitate trade and increase the movement of people and goods within the sub-region, a development he argued is critical to the advancement of the community. “If we can achieve a single currency within ECOWAS, it will help us in terms of trade, the people to people relations as well as the movement of people, goods and services,” he said.

Recall that sharp criticisms had trailed the timing and method of implementation of the TSA account, which stakeholders had argued would bring about unnecessary delays and distortions in the release of funds to the MDAs, which might in turn delay their operations.