TSA: Jonathan lacked will to implement policy, says Osinbajo

The administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan was again brought to focus as Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo said he (Jonathan) could not implement the Treasury Single Account (TSA) policy because he had no appetite for it.

Osinbajo made the submission while speaking at the opening ceremony of the Open Government Partnership [OGP] week held in Abuja on Monday.

Jonathan’s government had in 2015 initiated TSA policy to maintain unified account for all Federal Government generated revenues and incomes in a bid “to aid transparency”.

But until Muhammadu Buhari assumed office and implemented it, the TSA policy existed as mere idea under the Jonathan-led government, Osinbajo disclosed.

“We inherited a treasury single account (TSA) system that existed mainly as an idea, without the appetite for serious implementation.

“Since the presidential order by President Buhari in August 2015, we have made remarkable progress in expanding the reach of the TSA, so that today, we are almost at 100 percent compliance,” he said.

Identifying corruption as the main challenge of the country, Osinbajo  recalled how massive earning from oil in the past were not judiciously applied for the benefit of Nigeria.

He, however, outlined steps to combat ‘systematic’ corruption, saying aside fighting grand corruption and its accompanying impunity, the government is resolute in enthroning transparency and accountability, which TSA policy is intended to serve.

“It was the reason why, in spite of record oil revenues between 2011 and 2013/2014, we saw no savings, and very little investment in infrastructure and jobs, and, in spite of the billions of dollars reportedly invested in security, the Boko Haram insurgency and other cases of insecurity did not abate.

“Our government has adopted a two-step approach to dealing with this scourge of systemic corruption. The first is to stop grand corruption and the accompanying impunity.

“The second step and the more enduring one, is what this week is about, creating a self- sustaining system that assures transparency and accountability.”

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