TSA as hindrance to state media houses
The last administration started the implementation of the policy of Treasury Single Account, otherwise known as TSA, at both the federal and state levels. This means that all the revenues accruing to government agencies are deposited in a designated account. The purpose of the policy is to ensure accountability, probity, and transparency in government revenue and expenditure.
Though the policy was first initiated by the federal government, because of the popularity of the policy and the advantages attached to it, the state government replicated same without due consideration for media-related agencies whose operations are impromptu.
Advertisements and other commercial transactions come without notice and are expected to be published or aired immediately but because of the protocols and bureaucracy in the policy, some of these commercials are either delayed or even lost to private media houses.
Under this policy, state media agencies do not have the freedom to generate money and spend it until the money is deposited in the account. The agencies will then apply to the office concerned in case there is a need for expenditure. This is a serious drawback to the activities of media houses. We all know that commercials are placed on schedule, and anything outside of this schedule will be disappointing to the client.
Sometimes state media executives resort to begging clients because they cannot meet up. Sometimes commercials come in at the point of production and you need money for logistics, and we all know how difficult it is to get money out of a government account. The bottlenecks involved in the policy do not allow for the free flow of media transactions, particularly commercial transactions activities of media houses are seriously hampered by it.
Media houses are not supposed to be included in this operation, and even if they are, this writer is of the opinion that they should be given some leverage or partial exclusion so that they can meet up easily with customer demands.
There are opportunities in this government that, if properly explored by state media agencies, will swell their revenue profile by enhancing their activities. All these advantages are not practicable because of the TSA.
I would like to conclude that, without fear of contradiction, the government of Hon. Mohammed Umar Bago is working and state media houses are providing proper and accurate reportage, but please, the government should take a second look at the TSA Policy as it relates to state-owned media agencies.
Alhaji Ladan, a Public Affairs Commentator, writes from Minna.