Today a special executive meeting of the Imo State government was held. Invitees in attendance included Traditional Rulers, Bank Executives, Oil marketers, and other business and financial executives.
The issue was the streamlining, regularising and mainstreaming of the revenue and financial transactions of Imo State through the introduction of the Treasury Single Account. TSA.
Todays take off of the TSA in Imo State is in compliance with the provisions of the Nigerian constitution, requiring all accruable revenues to be paid into a consolidated revenue account.
The essence of the executive order is to apply the TSA as an instrument of transformation and ease of doing business. Imo State by the World Bank 2018 Ease of Doing Business in Nigeria report, is ranked 34 out of 36 states of the federation. A very poor standing indeed.
The introduction of the TSA signals a trajectory of transformation and a major turning point in the decision and commitment of the government of Imo State to provide a strong economy and healthy society and a new Imo characterised by excellence, equality, meritocracy, integrity, incorruptibility, diligence and compliance with the rule of law.
The justification for the TSA is for amonst other reasons, block PAYE remittances from going into unauthorised accounts and to stop cash payments and cash transactions especially at the Ministry of Lands and at the Owerri Capital Development Authority.
Following from this, all revenue collection accounts by Ministries, Departments and Agencies are now closed. Remittances of PAYE deductions from civil servants shall now go into appropriate account maintained by the Board of Inland Revenue.
The report from the Imo State Financial Advisory Committee ( FAC) revealed that Ministries, Departments and Agencies maintained and operated different revenue accounts, some in pseudo names.
Also payments to contractors and statutory bodies were made in cash. It is against this background that the FAC urgently worked on streamlining revenue processes.
With the TSA, the Internally Generated Revenue and income earning potential of the State which had remained stunted, unhealthy and unstable over the years, will witness a turn for the better.
Speaking at the ceremony, the Governor H.E Rt Hon Emeka Ihedioha stated that, “” We are in a democracy. We are representing the interest of the people. I take this action to stem the tide of abuse of the system of governance in Imo State…We have started the sanitization of the financial process”.