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TSA: FG saves N45bn monthly, says finance minister

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The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, says the Federal Government is currently saving an average of N45bn monthly in interest payments following the implementation of the TSA (Treasury Single Account).

Ahmed, who spoke during the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on TSA between Nigeria and the Republic of The Gambia, said among other verifiable benefits, Nigeria could easily determine its aggregate cash balance, 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, able to rein in inflation and undue pressure on the naira. Our foreign reserves position has also recorded appreciable improvement through the consolidation of the federal government foreign currency earnings under the TSA,” she said.

Ahmed recalled the last visit by officials of The Gambia in May 2019 for a week-long study tour of the TSA implementation.

The minister said following the successful conclusion of the tour, The Gambia requested technical cooperation with Nigeria to support its own transition to the TSA.

She said in order to achieve that aim, representatives of both countries worked on an MoU detailing the terms and scope of the cooperation.

Ahmed said, “In a nutshell, the cooperation 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.

“By so doing, The Gambia is properly guided as it implements its own TSA. The cooperation will enable The Gambia to leverage the experience of Nigeria to build on our strengths while avoiding our mistakes.

“We are happy to support The Gambia in their bid to implement TSA and other PFM reforms. We are also open to supporting other African countries which may want to build on our experience and significant progress in TSA implementation.

“It is our belief that African countries are better off learning from each other and supporting each other because of our shared culture and history.”

The minister urged The Gambia to muster the necessary political will before forging ahead with adopting the TSA.

She warned that it was better to secure the buy-in of topmost political actors in the country.

She stressed the importance of the synergy between the fiscal and monetary authorities.

She noted that the cooperation of other stakeholders such as the parliament; ministries, departments and agencies of government, banks and service providers was also important.

Ahmed urged those to drive the reforms to secure the support of the general public.

“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,” Ahmed said.

In her remarks, the leader of the Gambian delegation to the MoU signing ceremony, the country’s Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance and Economy, Ms. Ada Gaye, explained that cooperation 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,” she said.

She added that the government of The Gambia will create the needed sensitisation to help the people understand the process.

“Nigeria is the big brother while The Gambia is the small brother. We are happy to cement this brotherly love,” she said.

The Gambian High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr Amadou Sheikh Oman Taal, also described Nigeria as a big example within the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) region.

“We are trying to make reforms in our financial management. Therefore, this collaboration with Nigeria is very important to us. So, The Gambia Central Bank will get closer to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) so as to learn and get the necessary experience,” he stated.

Governor of CBN, Godwin Emefiele, said the role of the apex bank was critical to the success of the TSA.

Represented by the CBN Deputy Governor, Operations, Adebisi Shonubi, Emefiele said Nigeria was currently realising additional benefits, which were never imagined prior to the commencement of the TSA.

According to him, it is important that the Central Bank of Gambia realises that its primary mandate of price stability will change as it assumes the back stock and corresponding bank for the country as a result of the TSA.

Emefiele said, “Nigeria remains a brother in the house and we are always willing to share our experiences, our gains and sometimes our pains. I know we will be a worthy ambassador of what the TSA has done in Nigeria, The Gambia and other countries in Africa.”

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Boko Haram attacks Yobe military base, three soldiers injured

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Three soldiers were wounded on Saturday when Boko Haram insurgents attacked a military base at Katarko village in the Gujba Local Government Area of Yobe State.

The reportedly insurgents drove into Katarko village in about 10 gun trucks and attacked the military formation.

They were said to have engaged the security operatives at the base in a gun duel.

The Cable reports that troops of the Nigerian Army, who repelled the attack, alongside airstrikes by the Nigerian Air Force, were said to have killed many of the insurgents.

However, a precise number of fatalities had not been ascertained as of the time of filing this report. It was only gathered that three soldiers were injured in the attack.

“Two to three soldiers were injured and have been taken to hospital in Damaturu for treatment,” the source said, adding, “Many Boko Haram members are also feared dead. They were struck by foot soldiers and air support.”

 

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Ijaw group warns against tampering with 13 percent derivation formula

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A Niger-Delta group, Ijaw People Assembly (IPA) has condemned the proposal by 59 members of the House of Representatives seeking an amendment of Section 162(2) of the 1999 Constitution.

It said the real motive was targeted at deleting the Principle of Derivation which stipulated 13% of the revenue accruing to the Federation Account from natural resources, describing the move “as an inglorious attempt and a misadventure.”

The group’s scribe, Dortimi Tawari, who spoke in a statement, yesterday, said the plan was an “invitation to chaos and eventual collapse of the Nigerian economy.”

Tawari warned the proposal was “another form of internal colonization, an attempt to strangulate and subjugate the Ijaw nation and other Niger-Delta nationalities.”

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Part of the statement read: “The Ijaw nation being a host nation to oil and gas resources and assets, the IPA views this proposal as another form of internal colonization, an attempt to strangulate and subjugate the Ijaw nation in particular and the other Niger Delta nationalities.

“Need it be mentioned that it is an invitation to chaos and eventual collapse of the Nigerian economy. The ljaw People Assembly vehemently oppose a system that will drag the ljaw Nation and the other nationalities in the Niger Delta into undeserved subjugation and retrogression.”

Tawari reiterated the call for a restructured Nigeria that “guarantees resource ownership, control, management and freedom to appropriate a declared percentage of derived revenue to the central government or an arrangement of sovereign nations as the extreme option.”

He said a restructured Nigeria “will promote a productive economy and end the current monthly sharing (rentier) economy under some spurious formular which has encouraged laziness and unviability of states from which the said 59 members all hail from.”

The Nation

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Treat bandits as terrorists – Speakers tell President Buhari

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Chairman of the conference and Speaker, Bauchi House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Abubakar Suleiman

The Conference of Speakers in Nigeria has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to declare bandits terrorists and enemies of the state.

The Chairman of the conference and Speaker, Bauchi House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Abubakar Suleiman, made the pronouncement at the end of the third quarter general meeting of the Conference of Speakers in Katsina on Saturday.

He said the call was one of the outcomes of their 5-point communique reached at the end of their deliberations.

According to the Speakers’ Chairman, they have come to realise that the mode of operations employed by the bandits is not in anyway different from that of terrorists and as such should be treated as one.

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Other resolutions reached in the course of the deliberations included working out a legislative framework to complement federal government efforts in the fight against insecurity in the country.

Also, the conference resolved to come up with appropriate laws that will address the fundamental issues responsible for the insecurity experienced in the country.

The communique also harped on the need to create employment opportunities for the teeming youths as a means to curb the insecurity situation bedeviling the country.

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