The Accountant General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris has issued a stern warning to the management of National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) to stop investing in banks because of the issue of trapped funds in Aso Savings and Loan Limited.
This warning was given in a meeting between Ahmed Idris and the management of NHIS led by the Executive Secretary, Professor Mohammed Nasir Sambo at the Treasury House.
The issue of trapped funds: Idris was unhappy that the management of NHIS went into a transaction with Aso Savings and Loan Limited without carrying the Office of the Accountant General of Federation along.
“We will continue to play our role to give you releases as and when due. If there are issues beyond your comprehension, our doors are always open to resolve such issues. NHIS’ issues with Aso Savings and Loan Limited would have been averted if OAGF was carried along in the transactions. Consequently, we need to populate your account department with Treasury officers, otherwise, you will face the consequences of your action,” Idris said.
Nevertheless, Idris promised to help the NHIS recover its trapped deposits. He also advised the NHIS as a public institution to subject itself to the rules of engagement, noting that it’s expected to key into all financial policies.
“There is no exemption and if you want to operate outside the rules, you are to seek approval.”
Investment advice: Idris also informed the delegation to make their investment requests known in line with the stipulations of the Treasury Single Account (TSA) which he explained was quite robust since it was designed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). He discouraged them from seeking investment in commercial banks, citing the bank rates as a reason to steer clear.
According to the AGF, the OAGF is the driver of a number of public finance initiatives for the government like the Treasury Single Account (TSA), Government Integrated Financial Management Information System (GIFMIS), a platform for making payment and preparing budget as well as Integrated Personnel Payroll Information System (IPPIS), a platform for paying salaries of Federal Government employees and other reform initiatives.
Furthermore, the AGF said that the OAGF equally services the economy in terms of making releases to the three tiers of government, namely, Federal, State and Local Governments and every other thing that revolves around resources.