The All Progressives Congress(APC) Legacy Awareness and Campaign, a voluntary think-tank group of the governing party, said over N280 billion in bank charges have been saved since President Muhammadu Buhari insisted on the enforcement of the Treasury Single Account (TSA) policy.
The group, in its weekly assessment report of the APC-led administration, said the Buhari administration had since 2015 to date deployed many anti-corruption policies that have turned around the economy.
A statement in Abuja by the group signed by APC National Youth Leader, Ismael Ahmed, APC former National Publicity Secretary, Lanre Issa-Onilu and two other leaders, said that though the policy was introduced by the past administration, it struggled to gain traction until President Buhari’s executive order.
The group recalled in August 2015, President Buhari issued his first major Presidential Order, directing all Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) to close their accounts with Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) and transfer their balances to the Treasury Single Account (TSA) system under the oversight of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
APC-LAC noted that since enforcement of the policy, “more than 17,000 commercial bank accounts have since been closed down, resulting in savings of an average of N4 billion monthly, in banking charges; apart from the increased transparency and accountability that comes from the new system.”
Highlighting how the administration has been fighting corruption, APC-LAC noted that since 2015, it has spearheaded several reforms in line with the commitment to freeing the country from the clutches of corruption, which has stunted sustainable growth and development, as well as undermining the country and its citizens in many ways.
The group noted “contrary to the assumptions that the administration’s anti-corruption strategy is limited to arrests and prosecutions of offenders, it has become clear to observers that the greater focus is actually on building preventive systems and mechanisms that promote lasting accountability.
“For instance, early in the life of the administration, the President established the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC), to sign-post to the world the significance of the fight against corruption to his administration.
“PACAC has helped produce manuals, protocols and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to assist Anti-Corruption Agencies (ACAs) in their work, including a Corruption Case Management Manual; Plea Bargaining Manual; Sentencing Guidelines in High Profile Cases; a Framework for the Management of Recovered Stolen Assets, Asset Recovery Strategy Document, among others.
“The Buhari Administration also established the Presidential Initiative on Continuous Audit (PICA) to strengthen controls over Government finances through a continuous internal audit process across all Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs), particularly in respect of payroll. PICA helped identify and remove more than 54,000 fraudulent payroll entries, amounting to savings of N200 billion per annum.
“Other transparency and anti-corruption initiatives of the Buhari Administration include Project Lighthouse, launched in 2018 to integrate multiple tax and revenue data sources from across the government and third parties (land records, CAC records, REMITA platform, Private Jet Ownership data, FIRS database, etc) and thus help ensure accurate income and tax assessment for individual and corporate taxpayers.”