Friday, May 24, 2024

5,000 debtors owe Nigerian government N5.2 trillion: Finance Ministry

The federal government said the debts were revealed in data aggregated from over 5,000 debtors across more than 93 MDAs.

• April 23, 2024

The director of special projects at the Federal Ministry of Finance, Aisha Omar, says the ministry has recovered N57 billion from the N5.2 trillion owed ministries, departments, and agencies (MDAs) so far.

Ms Omar disclosed this during the Sensitisation Workshop on Federal Government Debt Recovery Drive through Project Lighthouse Programme for South-East zone, on Tuesday in Enugu.

Ms Omar said the debts came to the spotlight from data aggregated from over 5,000 debtors across more than 93 MDAs.

Ms Omar said the debts were in the form of liabilities to the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS).

The official said it also received refunds to the government by companies who failed to deliver on projects for which payment had been made. 

Others are unpaid credit facilities granted to corporate entities and individuals by the Bank of Industry (BOI) and Bank of Agriculture (BOA), Judgment Debt in favour of the government, debts owed the Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD) by insurance companies, amongst others.

She added that data from Project Lighthouse revealed that many companies and individuals who owed government agencies and refused to honour their obligations were still being paid.

She said this was done through government platforms such as GIFMIS and Treasury Single Account (TSA) due to the lack of visibility over these transactions.

According to her, in actualising the debt recovery goal, the finance ministry initiated ‘Project Lighthouse’, which has enabled the aggregation of relevant economic and financial information from multiple agencies that had not shared data until now.

“Generally, revenue loopholes have been aided by poor information sharing and enforcement. It may interest you to note that the ministry, through the consolidation efforts of the Debt Analytics and Reporting Application, has been able to aggregate monumental debts of approximately N5.2 trillion.

“The debt aggregation effort is still ongoing. Currently, approximately, N57 billion has been recovered so far from this amount due to concerted efforts on the part of stakeholders and the federal government,” she said.

(NAN)

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