The Treasury Single Account (TSA) contract that gave out 1% as remittance fee for all government accounts moved to the Central Bank of Nigeria was signed under the regime of Goodluck Jonathan in 2012, a CBN source has revealed to SaharaReporters.
The Peoples Democratic Party had claimed recently that the TSA policy was formulated under former President Jonathan. However, due to weak regulations and corruption in the system, several ministries, departments and agencies of the Nigerian government refused to conform with the TSA policy.
A company, Systemspecs Ltd, founded by John Tanimola Osaro in 1992, got the contract to oversee the remittance of funds into the TSA. “Remita” is the flagship product of Mr. Obaro’s Systemspecs Ltd. According to our CBN source, the company built in a demand for a 1% fee to be paid to it for all remittances made into the TSA. System specs Ltd is chaired by a former Nigerian Ambassador to the UK and chair of SURE-P program under ex-President Jonathan’s regime.
Since President Muhammad Buhari made it mandatory for MDAs to remit funds into the TSA, Systemspecs company had already been paid N8.6 billion when CBN officials claimed they detected the anomaly and forced Mr. Obaro’s company to refund the excessive remittance fee. So far, the TSA account has N1.5 trillion deposited in it, the CBN source said no commission was paid.
The Central Bank source said the apex bank was in the process of developing internal competency to enable it to handle the TSA. "We at the Central Bank should be able to handle remittances into the TSA without having to pay any so-called consultants a bloated remittance fee," the source said.
SaharaReporters also contacted the former Central Bank Governor, Lamido Sanusi, who is now the Emir of Kano, Muhammad Sanusi II. He asserted that the CBN did not sign any contract with REMITA under his watch. In a series of text messages, he stated that it was the Ministry of Finance and the Accountant General of the Federation who must have signed the contract with REMITA. The former CBN Governor added that only Nigeria's Finance Minister is entitled to pay commission on such payments. He said under his tenure as CBN Governor his team kept pushing for TSA. According to him, the CBN's call for the institution of TSA could be found in the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting communiques. He told SaharaReporters that some ministers in ex-President Jonathan's government resisted the TSA apparently because they were doing deals with banks.
SaharaReporters contacted Mr. Obaro’s company, but he did not respond to our inquiries as at the time of going to press.