There are indications that some Deposit Money Banks (DMB) may likely face new sanctions and fines by the financial regulator, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) over improper remittances of revenues they collected on behalf of the federal government to the Treasury Single Account (TSA).
Billions of naira in government revenues were alleged to be trapped in the coffers of some banks.
Financial intelligence recently revealed that some of banks had failed to remit all Federal Government funds with them to the TSA domiciled in the Central Bank of Nigeria, which prompted the FG’s decision to audit the banks’ remittances since the commencement of the TSA.
Over N5 trillion government revenues were remitted by the banks to the TSA since the commencement of the policy. However, due to the allegation of improper remittances by the banks, the Director of Funds, Office of the Accountant General of the Federation, (OAGF) Mr Alexander Adeyemi, the OAGF has given approval for the audit of the entire TSA to two prominent audit firms – Pricewaterhouse Cooper, Ernst and Young to audit of the entire TSA so that any money that is still remaining in commercial banks we would be able to discover them.
Beside the poor remittances by the banks, there is also concern over the exact balance in the account with the CBN and the OAGF, the two custodians of the account.
Following these revelations, the House of Representatives mandated the CBN and the OAGF to provide detailed reconciliation and audit reports of the amounts generated so far in the TSA within 6 weeks, ending November 10th.
The Abubakar Danburam-led ad hoc committee investigating the status of the TSA, at the House of Reps, said the November 10 deadline remained sacrosanct, adding that no bank is excluded as long as they have MDAs’ accounts with them.
Meanwhile, all banks must now use “GIFMIS” revenue reference number for all revenue collected through Remita platform into the TSA.
Following the CBN circular to the Deposit Money Banks (DMB) recently signed by the Director of Banking and Payment Systems Department, Dipo Fatokun, all the banks starting from yesterday, October 1st, mandated the use of electronic means for all its revenue inflows into the Treasury Single Account (TSA).
Fatokun said: “We have noticed that the use of the GIFMIS revenue reference number is not being adhered to, thereby making it almost impossible for the OAGF to reconcile revenues collected to the TSA.
“With effect from October 1, 2017, all DMBs are to ensure mandatory use of the GIFMIS Revenue Reference numbers at the point of revenue collection into the TSA.”
The apex bank described the move as part of its efforts to boost revenue collection by properly classifying receipts and to ease reconciliation.
The Government Integrated Financial Management Information System (GIFMIS) is an IT based system for budget management and accounting that is being implemented by the Federal Government to improve Public Expenditure Management processes, enhance greater accountability and transparency across ministries and agencies.
Efforts to get the reactions of the banks on the audits proved abortive. However in their reactions after a Federal High Court, Lagos judgment that ordered some of them to refund millions of dollars belongs to FG/ NNPC alleged to be hidden by them, the banks said all their records are clean on TSA remittances.
The banks insisted that they had not in any way hidden any money due to the fiscal authorities and that they were certainly not in violation of the TSA Act.