The federal government on Monday dismissed allegations of fraud in the management of the Treasury Single Account , TSA, and diversion of funds by the All Progressive Congress, APC – led federal government to bankroll elections in Bayelsa and Kogi.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, in a statement by his special adviser on Media, Segun Adeyemi, in Abuja on Monday described the allegation as a contrived distraction.
Mohammed said if those behind the accusations are honest, they would have realised that there could be no such impunity under President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.
“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,” Mohammed stated.
But he contended that “the lies that have been willfully disseminated by scandal mongers over the TSA cannot and will not fly.”
The minister, who assured Nigerians that no one had tampered with the TSA funds, said the payment system had begun to enjoy a new lease of life and attract national attention because of the political will and transparency demonstrated by President Buhari.
“Those behind the rumour that a single company made N25 billion from charging one per cent of TSA funds that passed through the company’s software may need to return to elementary school to get some lessons in arithmetic,” the minister said.
Explaining this, Mohammed said that “in order for one per cent charge to fetch N25 billion, the funds accruing into the TSA must have reached N2.5 trillion” but noted that “the total amount of funds in the TSA to date is still much less than 2 trillion.”
“More importantly, at the time the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, ordered that all monies that were erroneously charged as ‘revenue’ be returned to the TSA Account late last month, the TSA had less than N800 billion.
The minister appealed to Nigerians not to allow those who had been funding their lavish lifestyles and encouraging corruption, to the detriment of ordinary citizens and without bothering about national interest to hoodwink them.