The federal government may have considered and approved the applications of 13 agencies which made a case to be exempted from complying with President Muhammadu Buhari’s directive to all federal parastatals to pay their revenues into the Treasury Single Account (TSA) domiciled with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) by September 15.
A source according to a story published in THISDAY said that several agencies of government had applied to the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation (OAGF), showing reasons why they should be excluded from the TSA in view of the peculiar nature of their operations.
It was learnt that of the several applications submitted by federal agencies for exemption, the OAGF only acceded to the requests of 13 agencies including the Bank of Industry (BoI), Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN), Bank of Agriculture (BoA), Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC), Urban Development Bank (UDB), Nigerian Import-Export Bank (Nexim), Ajaokuta Steel Company, Federal Mortage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN), Nigerian Railways Limited, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), National Integrated Power Project (NIPP) and Galaxy Backbone.
Consequently, the OAGF, through a circular dated September 14 to the CBN Director, Banking and Payment Systems Department, Mr. Dipo Fatokun, requested that the affected agencies be exempted from making remittances to the TSA.
The exemption confirms the statement made by the Group Managing Director of NNPC, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, last month that the corporation would make representations to the federal government seeking exemption from making remittances to the TSA.
Speaking at the 55th Annual Conference of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) in Abuja, he had said that it would be dangerous to take away NNPC’s financial autonomy, as it was through this it was able to invest in Trains 3, 4, 5 and 6 of the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) Company, adding this would amount to “throwing away the baby with the bath water”.
However, the exemption granted to the 13 agencies would not sit well with the universities. The Committee of Vice-Chancellors of Federal Universities had visited the Accountant General of the Federation (AGF), Mr. Ahmed Idris, on September 10 to express its objection to the TSA largely on the grounds that as specialised entities, compliance could hinder their smooth operations at the ivory towers.
A source told THISDAY the request by the universities and some other institutions may not have been approved by the presidency.
However, the Deputy Director, Media Unit, OAGF, Mrs. Nene Offie, in a telephone chat with THISDAY refuted suggestions that any agency might have been given exemption from the TSA, stating that the information was false.
“There are no exemptions,” she claimed.