Nigeria: CBN Affirms Merit-Based Selection of Remita for TSA Platform

CBN Affirms Merit-Based Selection of Remita for TSA Platform
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The Director of Banking Services at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Hamisu Abdullahi, emphasized the merit-based process behind selecting Remita to provide an electronic platform facilitating payments from Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) to beneficiary accounts across commercial banks.

Abdullahi reiterated this stance during a hearing held by the House of Representatives Public Accounts Committee on March 28th, where CBN officials responded to queries regarding Remita’s operation of the Treasury Single Account (TSA) platform. The committee, chaired by Bamidele Salaam, clarified that the investigation aimed at ensuring transparency and accountability for the federation’s revenue, rather than targeting any specific company.

Explaining the selection process, Abdullahi stated, “The CBN sought an electronic platform to facilitate MDA payments to beneficiaries’ accounts in commercial banks. Out of two engaged companies, Remita was chosen based on merit and its track record of rendering similar services to commercial banks.”

In a previous report, Salawu Zubairu, former Director of the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation (OAGF), revealed that Remita emerged as the preferred platform after a rigorous evaluation process involving candidates like the Nigerian Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS). Remita’s selection was based on its superior capabilities in handling TSA’s electronic payments and government receipt collections, meeting stringent requirements set by the OAGF, CBN, and external consultants.

Mr. ‘Deremi Atanda, Managing Director of Remita Payment Services Limited, underscored the positive impact of the TSA initiative, streamlining government fund management and enhancing transparency. He highlighted the automation of manual processes, ensuring real-time monitoring of government inflows and outflows for effective cash asset management.

Atanda emphasized the significance of the Remita Retrieval Reference (RRR) code in tracking and reconciling transactions, enabling the government to identify payer details, transaction purpose, and destination accounts. He credited the TSA for uncovering approximately 70,000 non-existent employees from the civil service payroll, resulting in significant savings for the government.

Recognizing the TSA’s role in Nigeria’s financial reform and anti-corruption efforts, Atanda stressed the importance of consolidating all government inflows and outflows within the TSA framework. He cautioned against diverting federal government forex revenues outside the TSA, especially amidst increased demand for US Dollars, emphasizing the need to preserve economic stability and integrity.

As Nigeria continues its economic journey, adherence to TSA principles remains crucial for promoting transparency, combating corruption, and sustaining financial progress.

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