THE federal government has said that it had successfully moved all the capital accounts of its ministries, departments and agencies, MDAs to the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, minister of finance, who confirmed the development in a statement made available on Tuesday, April 7, said the move would help the central bank to effectively manage the funds of the government.
She said the new electronic collection platform, which the government unveiled in January this year for revenue generating agencies, would improve the availability of funds for financing of developmental projects and budgets as well as plug loopholes in government revenue collection and management.
The minister said instead of the agencies operating multiple accounts that were not being used, the new platform would enable the government to manage its account balances effectively. She said while the capital accounts had been successfully moved to the CBN, efforts were being made to ensure that the recurrent accounts were similarly moved within the shortest time possible.
“With the treasury single account, we have a tool that helps us to see the balances of governments at one time from all government agencies because we are drawing resources into the central bank. Instead of agencies with multiple accounts everywhere, which are not being used, and on the other hand you go borrowing, we will have an overview and it will help us to manage our balances much better. There is no too much of a choice; everybody has to comply. We don’t want to look as overbearing; so, we are discussing with the agencies and the banks. We have already got all the capital accounts into the central bank and gradually we are getting the recurrent accounts. It also helps the central bank to manage liquidity,” she said.
The minister hinted that while many of the MDAs did not like the electronic collection platform, the government was determined to ensure that all of them complied so that all government funds would now be managed under the TSA with the CBN. “Many of the MDAs don’t like the idea of the e-collect and the Treasury Single Account. But we are getting them because it is a conversation that we will be having on this issue and we are getting them to see that they need to comply. During this time, our objective is to get as much internal revenue generated with the e-platforms that will put the money in an account at the central bank. This will help us avoid leakages, which is what all Nigerians want.”
Textile Union Urges Buhari to Curb Smuggling
THE National Union of Textile Garment and Tailoring Workers of Nigeria, NUTGTWN, has urged Muhammadu Buhari, president-elect, to prioritise the rejuvenation of comatose textile industries in the country when he takes over the affairs of the nation. Issa Aremu, secretary general of the union reminded Buhari that it was part of his campaign promises to resuscitate dead textile industries across the country if voted into power.
Aremu also tasked the president-elect to ensure that smuggling and counterfeiting of textile materials into the country were halted, adding that if such socio-economic activities were allowed to thrive, it would rub on his good image. “We were encouraged during Gen Buhari’s campaign that he has resolved to revive textile and garment industry as part of his party’s overall strategy to re-industrialise the county and create mass employment for the millions of unemployed. We recall that in the 70s and up to early 80s, (when General Buhari and his patriotic team were in power) Nigeria was the largest producer of different range of textile, garment and carpet products surpassed in production only by Egypt and South Africa. We are willing to partner with his administration to reinvent this sector which has propelled newly industrialised countries in recent times such as China, India, Balgadesh and Indonesia among others.
“Twenty-six out of the 36 states grow cotton of both long and short stable lengths; in addition as an oil-producing country, Nigeria boasts of a large polyester base. Combined with the 170 million population rich in fashion and clothing and huge labour force of some 70 million potential workers, Nigeria has the potential of producing 1.2 billion meters of cloth per annum. When we factor the ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African States) sub-regional market, Nigeria is a natural textile destination point in the world. The major threat to the realisation of the great potential of Nigeria in textile production is high influx of counterfeit and smuggled goods. The real acid test of Gen. Buhari’s incoming administration’s anti-corruption is how he frontally fights smuggling.
“Over 90 percent of Nigeria’s huge market size is dominated by smuggled and counterfeit goods, killing local companies in Kano, Kaduna, Lagos, Guzau, Aba and Port Harcourt, and millions of direct and indirect associated local jobs. In addition smuggling denies the government the much needed revenue in unpaid custom duties. While private sector is the engine of growth, it is the government that must oil this engine, failing which it will crash as it has with the textile industry,” he said.
Aremu said all nations want to employ their youths, produce goods and services, overcome poverty and underdevelopment. To this extent, he said every nation protects its own industry, whether the industry is in ‘infancy’ or ‘adulthood’, adding that Nigeria cannot be different under Buhari’s administration which has commendably raised expectations to fight unemployment and grow the economy.
— Apr. 20, 2015 @ 01:00 GMT