The Senate on Wednesday asked the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to immediately terminate the contract it renewed with Systemspecs in 2013.
It also directed that the Treasury Single Account (TSA) transaction fee of one percent for e- collection/transfer be disregarded for any computation.
Adopting the report of its joint committee that investigated the abuse and mismanagement of the TSA regime, the Senate declared that only N650 million should have been paid as transaction charges for funds transferred ‘instead of the claim of N7.65 billion paid’.
The Senate said this amount was arrived at using the upper end of the approval band of N700 per transaction for N937,869 transactions for the period between March 1 and November 30, 2015.” It added that adoption of this rate makes a minimum saving of over N7 billion for the period between March 1 and October 27, 2015.
The Upper Chamber has also directed it’s Committee on Public Accounts to investigate the sources and utilisation of various funds earmarked for the implementation of the TSA platform from its inception in order to determine whether funds had earlier been provided for the various services now being paid for in the CBN service agreement.
Among the other recommendations of the joint committee, which were unanimously accepted, are that:
- the CBN should carry out in-house inquiry to sanitise its procedure for award of contracts and identify the culprits in the purported contract;
- the CBN should ensure total refund of the portion of the deductions retained by the CBN and DMBS and present evidence of compliance to the appropriate Senate committee.
The Senate also approved the recommendation that Systemspecs, having provided solutions and services at the nick of time and had allowed it to be used in spite of a freeze on its upfront deduction as transaction fees, be paid between N500 and N700 per transaction for electronic transfer/payments as specified in the CBN revised guideline.”
The lawmakers approved the recommendation that CBN should immediately open the space to other e-collection providers for competition, effectiveness, efficiency and greater robustness just as it approved the recommendation that all agreed fees and payments for e-collection service should not be borne by the Ministries, Department (MDAs), but provided for and disbursed from a central pool.
Consequently, the amount arrived at should be forwarded to the National Assembly for appropriation and accommodation in the 2016 budget.
The Senate President, Bukola Saraki, in his remarks after the debate on the report, commended the joint committee for not succumbing to pressure in the discharge of their duties.
He charged all Senate Committees to do necessary follow up on the report to ensure compliance to save more money for the country.
“By this action, this country is saving close to between N22 billion to over N30 billion which is higher than the appropriation of a lot of ministries and MDAS today, and will go a long way in addressing the problem of education and health.
Since this motion was brought, a lot of noise was made with some suggesting that it was just because the senate did not want to support TSA. Today, this report categorically applauds the TSA but the issue is that the cost of doing the transaction should not undermine the good purpose of the TSA.”