Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
The strict implementation of the Treasury Single Account (TSA) by the President Muhammadu Buhari-led All Progressives Congress (APC) has increased the earnings of the Federal Government to a whopping sum of N24.7 billion monthly.
A Professor of Economics from Nassarawa State University, Uche Uwaleke, who made the disclosure while making an in-depth assessment of the achievements of President Muhammadu Buhari within the last two and half years in office, also revealed that about N108 billion has been saved from removal of maintenance fees payable to banks before TSA.
Speaking, on Monday, in Abuja, at the week-long leadership training programme organised under the auspices of the National Committee of Buhari Support Groups (NCBSG) for its coordinators nationwide, Prof. Uwaleke further argued that the sudden and unexpected drop in crude oil price from a peak of US$114.6pb in June 2014 to under US$30pb in February 2016 created financial crisis for the government.
“Effective implementation of the Treasury Single Account (TSA), entrenching transparency and accountability has contributed in improving the country’s savings. N108 billion has been saved from removal of maintenance fees payable to banks before TSA. The nation has been saving N24.7 billion monthly with the full implementation of the TSA and implementation of the Bank Verification Number (BVN), thus tackling corruption by plugging loopholes for siphoning of public fund and tracking of illicit funds through multiple accounts,” he said.
Speaking further, he described as a milestone in the nation’s history the efforts of the Buhari-led administration to expend over N1.2 trillion on capital/infrastructural projects nationwide last year.
“Improvement in transport infrastructure (rail and road), construction work ongoing on the Lagos-Ibadan expressway, renovation of Abuja international Airport runway and completion of Abuja Kaduna Railway among others were the capital projects implemented.
“He has supported 27 states of the federation to pay salaries in 2015 through bailout fund due to cash crunch in the states with the release of about N689 billion. The unprecedented complete refund of Paris Club loan deductions to states also played a part,” he said.
On Social investment, Uwaleke said N-Power Volunteer Scheme has created jobs for over 200,000 unemployed graduates in all the 36 states and the FCT, adding: “Ongoing Government Enterprise and Empowerment (GEEP) Scheme; commenced in November 2016 in collaboration with the Bank of industry, where soft loans ranging from N10, 000 to N100, 000 have been given to over 189,000.
“Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) scheme, under which about 25,000 less privileged Nigerians so far are now being funded with the monthly N10,000 stipend in nine pilot states like Bauchi, Borno, Cross Rivers, Ekiti, Kwara, Kogi, Niger, Osun and Oyo. More beneficiaries are expected to be added in more states.
“Nigeria successfully issued two Eurobonds (US$4.5bn), a Sukuk Bond (100 billion Naira), a Diaspora Bond (US $300m), and the first Sovereign Climate Bond in Africa, raising billions of dollars for infrastructure spending. This is testimony to investors’ confidence
“The Federal Government launched a Tax Amnesty scheme (VAIDS) designed to increase tax awareness and compliance, and reduce incidence of tax evasion. The Voluntary Income and Asset Declaration Scheme is expected to ramp up non-oil before it closes in March 2018,” he noted.
Speaking earlier, the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the group, Senator Abu Ibrahim, represented by Zakari Aliu, said that the aim of the training was to help build effective leadership capacity among the members of the support group ahead of the next general elections.
He added that the training will help the group to spread the message of the successes recorded by President Muhammafu Buhari’s administration.
One of the discussants, Dr. Ben Obi of the Department of Economics, University of Abuja, also gave his assessment of the Buhari-led government said the APC government have been able to deliver successfully some of the promises made in 2015.