OrderPaperToday – The controversy over the implementation of Treasury Single Account (TSA) has continued as Information Minister, Mr. Lai Mohammed has asked Senator Dino Melaye to return to elementary school to learn arithmetic again.
Speaking on the alleged N25billion commission which is said to have accrued to operators of the REMITA platform that facilitates the return of monies of MDAs in commercial banks to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mohammed said the controversy is a needless distraction to the Muhammadu Buhari administration.
Senator Dino Melaye had blew the whistle on the TSA in the senate last week when he alleged that owners of REMITA made N25bn as 1%,commission in one day for “doing nothing” but simply facilitating the implementation of the scheme.
The senate accordingly ordered a joint committee to investigate the allegation just as the CBN reacted by directing Systemspecs, operators of the platform to refund about N8bn of the commission to government coffers.
But in what can be considered as the first official reaction of the administration to the matter, Mohammed said if “those behind the accusation had allowed themselves some measure of honesty, they would have realized that there has not and there will be no such impunity under the Administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.”
He accused Melaye and those making the allegation as suffering from the impunity of the past which the current government is cleansing the country from.
He said: ”It is understandable that the psyche of those who are making the frivolous allegations concerning the TSA has been badly affected by the impunity that permeated the country under the immediate past Administration, when unappropriated funds were freely used to finance elections and the public till was seen as an extension of personal piggy banks.
”But the lies that have been wilfully disseminated by scandalmongers over the TSA cannot and will not fly, because it was precisely to put an end to such impunity that Nigerians voted massively for President Muhammadu Buhari, who has an unblemished reputation for integrity, due process, transparency and the rule of law.
”Those behind the rumour that a single company, Systemspecs, made 25 billion Naira from charging 1 per cent of TSA funds that passed through the company’s software, Remita, may need to return to elementary school to get some lessons in arithmetic.
”This is because in order for 1 per cent charge to fetch 25 billion Naira, the funds accruing into the TSA must have reached 2.5 trillion Naira. Yet, the total amount of funds in the TSA to date is still much less than 2 trillion.
”More importantly, at the time the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) ordered that all monies that were erroneously charged as ‘revenue’ be returned to the TSA Account late last month, the TSA had less than 800 billion Naira. It therefore beggars belief that anyone could attempt to mislead the public by raising a false alarm that a firm made 25 billion Naira in TSA charges.”