October 28, 2014


Nigeria Treasury House

Posted by Salawu Zubairu, Sailendra Pattanayak and Yasemin Hurcan[1]

Nigeria is now the largest economy in Africa and the Federal Government’s (FGN) operations account for more than 13 percent of GDP. However, the management of the government’s cash resources was quite fragmented until a major reform was launched recently to implement a treasury single account (TSA). Prior to this reform, the federal government ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) held more than 5,000 accounts in different banks. Due to these fragmented banking arrangements, the cash resources of the FGN were not being consolidated and huge cash balances were remaining idle in MDAs’ bank accounts, while the FGN was incurring ways and means charges to meet the cash shortfall. For example, at the end of 2009 the FGN had an overall cash balance of more than 362 billion Naira in the MDAs’ various bank accounts (held both at the Central Bank of Nigeria and commercial banks), but the Central Bank still needed to provide ways and means financing of 147 billion Naira through the Consolidated Revenue Fund to meet the government’s cash requirements. To address this issue and strengthen FGN cash management system, the authorities sought technical assistance from the IMF’s Fiscal Affairs Department (FAD).

Nigeria-OAGF and FAD team

Over the last three years, the FGN – led by the Accountant General and the Budget Office - has made steady progress in implementing a TSA with support from FAD. Based on the findings and recommendations of an FAD mission in 2010, the authorities developed a strategy for implementing a TSA in three phases: (i) consolidating the MDAs’ capital expenditure accounts at the Central Bank in Phase I; (ii) bringing revenue and expenditure cash flows of Abuja-based MDAs into the TSA in Phase II; and (iii) bringing cash flows of all remaining MDAs into the TSA in Phase III. The TSA strategy was developed together with the design of an electronic funds transfer functionality as part of a new Government Integrated Financial Management Information System (GIFMIS). The GIFMIS was planned to be rolled out in tandem with the TSA implementation.

There has been a close collaboration between the FGN and FAD to help implement the TSA which became operational on 2nd April 2012, initially with 92 MDAs including the State House (the Presidency). With Phase I fully completed and Phase II substantially completed, the TSA coverage has increased over the last two years. It now covers 551 MDAs (76 percent of budgetary expenditure), compared to 92 MDAs (48 percent of budgetary expenditure) in 2012 (Figures 1 and 2).

 Fig 1 Fig 2

 As a result, the average monthly ways and means financing from the Central Bank has substantially reduced from 102 billion Naira in 2011 to 19.38 billion Naira in 2012. In 2013, the average monthly cash balance became positive at 18.13 billion Naira (Figure 3). 

Fig 3
FAD’s continuous engagement and support (including through headquarters-led missions in 2010, 2012 and 2014) helped the authorities to update the reform strategy from time to time and keep the TSA implementation on track. The reform was also facilitated by several other factors:

  • There was political support for this reform at the highest level. A high-level committee was set up by the President to accelerate the implementation of the TSA and GIFMIS. The Accountant General, as head of the Treasury, played a key role in steering the reform process. 
  • FAD missions, through a series of seminars/workshops, played an important role to ensure buy-in from key stakeholders who were initially opposed to this reform. An effective communication strategy (including workshops, clarificatory sessions, etc.) was also followed during TSA rollout to showcase the benefits of the TSA.
  • The choice of the TSA Model – A centralized TSA with Distributed Transaction Processing System (i.e., each MDA being directly responsible for making payments out of the TSA based on the allotment/warrant issued by Budget Office) – provided assurance to MDAs that they will remain in charge of their budgets.
  • The electronic funds transfer functionality of the new GIFMIS (sponsored by the World Bank) provided the platform for smooth implementation of the TSA. Late President Yar’Adua’s directive for MDAs to adopt an e-payment system and the Central Bank’s mandatory e-payment policy for banks also served as an impetus.

To derive full benefits from the TSA, the FGN needs to make further efforts to address the following issues, with FAD support as required: 

  • bringing all the remaining government agencies under the TSA and the GIFMIS;
  • fully leveraging the feeder transaction processing systems such as the payroll system (IPPIS) by providing automated interfaces with GIFMIS and expanding their coverage;
  • operationalizing the direct deposit functionality of GIFMIS for remitting the MDAs’ internally generated revenues from collecting banks into the TSA;
  • formalizing service performance standards through a service-level agreement with the banks, and setting up an institutional mechanism to monitor and enforce these standards; and
  • ensuring that cash and debt management operations are fully integrated to smooth the TSA balances during the year.



[1] Salawu Zubairu is currently the Director Consolidated Accounts in the Accountant General’s Office of the FGN and played a key role in TSA implementation while he was a Deputy Director in charge of Fiscal Accounts and Cash Management. Sailendra Pattanayak is a Senior Economist in FAD's PFM 1 Division and led the FAD missions to Nigeria in 2010, 2012, and 2014. Yasemin Hurcan is a Technical Assistance Advisor in FAD’s PFM1 Division, and participated in FAD missions to Nigeria. 



October 20, 2014

Performance Budgeting in the States of the United States 1/

Des Moines, Iowa State Capitol
By Celeste Kubasta

In developing PFM reforms it makes sense to look at other countries for best practices. Often people forget, however, that in the larger countries of this world the most exciting reforms often take place at the state or provincial level. Examples of states being more innovative than central or federal government can be found in countries as diverse as China, India or the US. The fifty states in the US provide a broad spectrum of PFM reform experiences, especially in the area of performance budgeting. The National Association of State Budget Officers recently prepared a report, “Investing in Results: Using Performance Data to Inform State Budgeting”. The range of methodologies described within this report is sure to provide country officials with useful insights for their reform efforts.

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October 16, 2014

Putting Accountability with Teeth into Fiscal Transparency

163816803 (2)
Posted by Jules Muis1

On October 6, the IMF and the World Bank held a seminar on progress made in their fiscal transparency efforts. An almost full house was briefed about the revamped IMF Fiscal Transparency Code and Evaluation, and parallel plans for updating the Public Expenditure and Financial Accountability (PEFA) framework. The related Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) was used as an example of how public-private initiatives could give a transparency initiative ownership, traction and increased impact.

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October 08, 2014

IMF-World Bank Seminar on New Fiscal Transparency Code and PEFA Framework

Posted by Richard Hughes1

On October 6, the 2014 IMF-World Bank Annual Meetings kicked off with a seminar on the new Fiscal Transparency Code and PEFA Framework, two of the key international standards for fiscal disclosure and management.

This joint IMF-World Bank event provided an opportunity to learn about and discuss the changes to these important tools for benchmarking the quality of countries’ fiscal transparency and management practices. It also marked the official launch of the public consultation of the fourth and final pillar of the Fiscal Transparency Code on Natural Resource Revenue Management.

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October 01, 2014

Modernizing Treasury Management in Developing Countries

Posted by Lewis Murara, Suhas Joshi and Mark Silins1

For one fully packed week, thirty-one participants from twenty Asian countries recently participated in a course at the IMF’s Singapore Regional Training Institute (STI) to discuss how to modernize treasury management in their countries, drawing from international experience . This course evolved from earlier courses, presented at the STI over the last three years, on the sequencing of PFM reforms. It was decided that a more focused and targeted course on treasury management would add most value. The present course was designed to dovetail neatly with technical assistance provided by the IMF’s Fiscal Affairs Department (FAD) in the region.

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September 16, 2014

Job Offer: Technical Assistance Advisor - Washington DC Based

The Fiscal Affairs Department (FAD) of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is looking for public financial management (PFM) experts to fill technical assistance advisor positions at its headquarters in Washington, D.C., and in resident advisor positions around the world. The advisors' appointment term would be for an initial period of one-to-two years, renewable, subject to satisfactory performance. The advisors will advise member countries on a wide range of PFM matters, supervise field experts, and will be required to travel overseas.

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Job Offer: Technical Assistance Advisor - Washington DC Based" »

September 10, 2014

Job Offer: Public Financial Management (PFM) Advisor for Bhutan


The Fiscal Affairs Department (FAD) of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is seeking an experienced long term resident advisor to work in the Ministry of Finance of Bhutan under a project financed by the Government of Japan. The position is for a one-year term with the possibility of renewal and will be based in Thimpu.

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Job Offer: Public Financial Management (PFM) Advisor for Bhutan" »

Job Offer: Treasury Advisor for Jamaica

The Fiscal Affairs Department (FAD) of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is seeking an experienced long term resident advisor to work in the Ministry of Finance and Planning (MOFP) of Jamaica under a project financed by the Government of Canada. The advisor will be work on the modernization of the Accountant General’s Department, and will be based in Kingston. The position is for a two-year term.

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Job Offer: Treasury Advisor for Jamaica" »

September 02, 2014

ICGFM Issues Call for Speakers for its Winter Conference, December 1-3, 2014, Washington, DC

Posted by David Nummy, ICGFM Vice-President for Programs

The International Consortium on Governmental Financial Management (ICGFM) will hold its Winter Conference from December 1-3, 2014, at the International Monetary Fund, conducted in partnership with the Fiscal Affairs Department (FAD).

The theme of the Conference is, PFM, Foundation for Public Governance. A Call for Speakers, Panels, and Presentations has been issued inviting public officials and members of the PFM community to submit proposals for consideration to be included in the conference program. The deadline for submission is September 14, 2014.

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August 21, 2014

18 Key Principles of PFM Reform


Posted by Hisham Waly[1]

While circumstances vary from country to country, I have found that there are some generic principles for PFM reform.  I have drawn these principles from my personal experience (inside and outside the World Bank) and readings (see list of resources at the end of the article).

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18 Key Principles of PFM Reform" »

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