The Federal Government on Monday dismissed the alleged fraud in the Treasury Single Account (TSA) and the rumoured diversion of the TSA funds to bankroll elections in Bayelsa and Kogi.
Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media, Mr Segun Adeyemi, in Abuja on Monday, described the allegation as a contrived distraction.
Mohammed said if those behind the accusation had allowed themselves some measure of honesty, they would have realised that there had not and there would 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.
“But the lies that have been willfully disseminated by scandal mongers over the TSA cannot and will not fly.
“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.’’
The Minister, who assured Nigerians that no one had tampered with the TSA funds, said it 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.
“This is because in order for one 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 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.
“It therefore beggars belief that anyone could attempt to mislead the public by raising a false alarm that a firm made N25 billion in TSA charges’’, he stated.
Mohammed 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.