Leadership-—–The federal government has accused Ekiti State governor Mr Ayo Fayose and Senator Dino Melaye of spreading lies in their comments which alleged fraud in the implementation of the Treasury Single Account (TSA) by the current administration, saying the lies cannot stand scrutiny.
Mr Fayose had alleged diversion of the TSA funds to bankroll elections in Bayelsa and Kogi states while Senator Melaye had claimed on the floor of the Senate that the firm managing the remittances had deducted a whopping N25 billion as fees.
But the federal government has dismissed the claims, describing them as “contrived distraction.”
Reacting to allegations made by Governor Fayose, the minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, explained that no one had tampered with the TSA funds, saying he was deliberately peddling falsehood to make mischief.
In the statement made available to LEADERSHIP, Mohammed further said, “It is understandable that the psyche of those who are making the frivolous allegations concerning the TSA has been badly affected by the impunity that permeated the country under the immediate past administration, when un-appropriated funds were freely used to finance elections and the public till was seen as an extension of personal piggy banks.
“But the lies that have been wilfully disseminated by scandalmongers over the TSA cannot, and will not, fly because it was precisely to put an end to such impunity that Nigerians voted massively for President Muhammadu Buhari, who has an unblemished reputation for integrity, due process, transparency and the rule of law.”
Systemspecs, the owner of the e-payment and e-collection platform, Remita, which serves as the gateway for the remittance of the TSA, had also appealed to the presidency to pay it for the services it rendered.
Senator Dino Melaye had last week called on the Senate to investigate the implementation of the TSA, alleging that the company implementing it had made N25 billion for “doing nothing.”
To this effect, Mohammed said, “Those behind the rumour that a single company, Systemspecs, made N25 billion from charging 1 per cent of TSA funds that passed through the company’s software, Remita, may need to return to elementary school to get some lessons in arithmetic.
“This is because in order for 1 per cent charge to fetch N25 billion, the funds accruing into the TSA must have reached N2.5 trillion. Yet, the total amount of funds in the TSA to date is still much less than N2 trillion.”
He said although the TSA was initiated under the previous administration, the reason it has started enjoy a new lease of life and attract national attention is because of the political will and transparency demonstrated by President Buhari.
Fayose had on Sunday alleged that deductions made by the firm that is managing the implementation of the TSA were funds the APC administration was diverting to fund forthcoming election in Kogi and Bayelsa states.
But in a statement issued in Abuja yesterday, Mohammed noted that if “those behind the accusation had allowed themselves some measure of honesty, they would have realized that there has not, and there will be no such impunity under the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.”