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Banks may dump TSA over unpaid fees

By The Citizen
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Twenty Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) involved in the implementation of the Treasury Single Account (TSA) are considering dumping the support services they are rending to see the effective execution of the project over unpaid fees, The Nation has learnt.

The lenders are bitter that their human and material resources are being deployed to successfully execute the project, yet the agreed fees are not paid.

SystemSpecs, the owner company of Remita, the e-payment and e-collection software deployed by the federal government to drive the TSA said it was yet to receive fees for its services after returning N3.8 billion to the Federal Government after the Senate kicked against the fees. The 20 participating banks also refunded N3.05 billion while the CBN refunded about N760.96 million under the fee-sharing ratio.

SystemSpecs' Executive Director, 'Deremi Atanda, said at the commencement of the project in May 2012, that it was agreed that one per cent of the sums collected from Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) would be deducted and shared among SystemSpecs, the banks and the CBN in ratios of 0.5 per cent, 0.4 per cent and 0.1 per cent respectively.

Atanda, who spoke at a media briefing in Lagos, said the company is not satisfied that its services are not being paid for in the last 14 months, a situation that is putting its finances under pressure. 'We're a software company and totally Nigeria. The knowledge economy has come of age, but Nigeria is still dependent in international companies,' he said.

Continuing, he said: 'There is a value added to some natural resources. We want to focus on agriculture and mining while we are leaving the frontier where the world is competing, which is intellectual property. We need to develop areas where we have comparative advantage.'

He said the company developed software that can be used anywhere in the world. 'Why is the government not looking at it as national asset that can be a net forex earner?' he queried.

He said the country should stop depending on other developed countries to solve its technology challenges.

He said the company won and delivered World Bank project on technology under competitive bidding process.

'We are not begging, but just give us opportunity to thrive. The success of TSA is the victory of technology in solving everyday governance problems. Remita was not developed for TSA, but it can solve the problem. Nobody is talking about the technology having failed. It has solved a problem. The controversy is about commercial terms. Now after the problem is solved, government now thinks it is expensive,' he said. The Nation