Friday, 13 November 2015

CBN Denies N25bn Fraud In TSA Implementation

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has defended the implementation of the Treasury Single Account (TSA) and dismissed allegations that Nigeria lost N25 billion to its implementation.
Its clarification came against the backdrop of Wednesday’s decision by the Senate that the CBN and
the Federal Ministry of Finance should suspend the implementation of TSA to enable it probe the allegation of N25 billion fraud allegedly as-sociated with the firm, Systemspecs, owner of Remita software, handling the implementation.

CBN’s Director of Corporate Communications, Mallam Ibrahim Mu’azu, in an interview expressed shock that the exercise, which was transparently conducted, could be tagged as fraud.

“All the allegations are not true and there is no fraud in any form associated with the TSA implementation,” Mu’azu said yesterday in a telephone interview.

However, he could not provide the figure the firm collected as commission for the exercise. Investigation showed that Remita is not a firm as claimed by the senators, but a software product of SystemSpecs Solution Limited. SystemSpecs is said to have emerged the preferred system solution firm handling government’s fund remittances in 2012 when its bid was rated ahead of other firms.

The firm, which has been involved in revenue remittances to government coffer using its software solution platform, was engaged in TSA mop up in banks and remittances to the CBN with its software – REMITA. SystemSpecs Limited is a company founded in 1991 as provider of epayment, financial, and human capital software solutions.

It has former Chairman of Cadbury Plc, Dr. Christopher Kolade, as its board chairman and former Vice Chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Mr. Ernest Ndukwe, as board member.
The Chief Executive Officer is Mr. John Obaro. A top official of the firm said that contrary to the N25 billion being bandied as cost of TSA collection, the amount involved is about N8 billion being one per cent cost of TSA mop-up and remittances to CBN.

The N8 billion, according to sources, is to be shared among System- Specs, CBN, banks and the Office of the Accountant General of Federation (OAGF). It was learnt that the N8 billion collected as one per cent of the cost of TSA mop-up was returned to CBN coffers last month. We could not confirm the return of the amount yesterday from CBN.

The SystemSpecs officer, who spoke in confidence because of the sensitive nature of the subject matter, said TSA implementation did not cost the Federal Government a dime.

“The Federal Government didn’t pay us a dime for TSA. But all parties involved, the CBN, banks, SystemSpecs and OAGF agreed on one per cent as transaction charges.

Both CBN and OAGF communicated this decision to us. It was equally agreed that ours is 50 per cent of the one per cent of transaction charges while banks take 40 per cent and CBN is 10 per cent.

“The one per cent we charged applied to normal collection of revenue for government, but when we are now enlisted to use our software platform, Remita, to mop up TSA funds from banks to the CBN, we discovered that one per cent, as cost of mopping the funds to CBN could be much.

When the funds started accruing and it had accrued to N8 billion, the CBN wrote us last month to stop charging percentage and we returned the money to CBN,” the source said.

He said during the implementation of TSA and mopping of funds by the company, agencies such as NCC, Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA) and others with fat balances in banks whose one per cent cost of collection were deducted, increased the cost of collection to N8 billion.


Newtelegraph

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