The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning Mrs. Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed had revealed that the country is currently saving an average of N45 Billion monthly in interest payments.
This according to the minister is as a result of the implementation of Treasury Single Account (TSA) which she said has been immensely beneficial to the country.
Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, who stated this yesterday during the signing of memorandum of understanding (MoU) on TSA with the Republic of The Gambia in Abuja, added that that among other verifiable benefits, Nigeria could now easily determine its aggregate cash balance which is critical for managing public finances at a time of acute fiscal constraints.
“On the monetary policy side, we have better control over money supply and therefore are able to rein in inflation and undue pressure on the Naira. Our foreign reserve position has also recorded appreciable improvement through the consolidation of the federal government foreign currency earnings under the TSA,” she stated.
It will be recalled that in May 2019, the Gambian authorities had visited Nigeria based on the recommendation of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a week-long study tour of TSA implementation.
The minister noted that following the successful conclusion of the tour, Gambia requested for technical co-operation with Nigeria to support its own transition to TSA.
She said that “the co-operation seeks to avail the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs of The Gambia of the vast knowledge, experience and technical expertise that Nigeria has gained in the past 15 years of implementing TSA in particular and other Public Financial Management (PFM) reforms, in general”.
This cooperation she said has positioned The Gambia to properly implement its own TSA. According to her “the co-operation will enable The Gambia to leverage the experience of Nigeria to build on our strengths while avoiding our mistakes.”
Advising The Gambia, she said: “Next in line is to assemble the right team of competent and committed reformers with in-depth knowledge of PFM. Upon that team will rest the responsibility of translating policy into action and by so doing, ensuring that your TSA expectations are met. There are more factors at play. You need, for instance, the financial resources and an enabling environment to drive reforms.
“The importance of the synergy between the fiscal and monetary authorities, she also said, cannot be overemphasized. Equally important, according to her, is the co-operation of other stakeholders: the parliament; the ministries, departments and agencies of government; the banks and service providers.
“Above all, the general public, on whose behalf the government exists and manages public funds, must be convinced that TSA and other reforms are being implemented in their interest and for the good of the country.
“As is the case in Nigeria, when you have their support, they will take it upon themselves to be against forces of resistance and any attempt at derailing the reforms,” she further advised.
In their response, Ms. Ada Gaye, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance of The Gambia, on behalf of the delegation, expressed their happiness to be in Nigeria to sign the MoU, saying that the tour has helped them to understand the workings of the TSA.
“The Gambia wants to efficiently manage its funds; the fragmentation of accounting systems in The Gambia is huge. It is, therefore, noteworthy for The Gambia to adopt TSA. Though … is still … We are going to create the needed sensitisation to help the people of The Gambia understand the process. Nigeria is the big brother while The Gambia is the small brother. We are happy to cement this brotherly love.”