April 25, 2024

N5.2trn debt: FG recovers N57bn from 10 MDAs


By Emma Ujah,  Abuja Bureau Chief 

The Federal Government has recovered the sum of N57 billion out of the N5.2 trillion liabilities owed the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) by various Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).

The Permanent Secretary, Special Duties, Federal Ministry of Finance Mr. Okokon Udo disclosed this, yesterday, at the sensitisation workshop on Federal Government Debt Recovery Drive through Project Lighthouse Programme, in Enugu.

Mr. Udo who was represented by the Director of Special Duties, Mrs. Aisha Omar, stated that the debts came to the spotlight from data aggregated from over 5,000 debtors across over 93 MDAs.

He added that the government equally received refunds from companies who failed to deliver on projects for which payment had been made.

The Director of Information and Public Relations, Mr. Mohammed Manga, quoted the Perm. Sec. as saying, “I actualising the  debt recovery goal, the Federal Ministry of Finance initiated Project Lighthouse, which has enabled the aggregation of relevant economic and financial information from multiple agencies who hitherto did not share data.”

Udo explained, “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 due to concerted efforts on the part of stakeholders and the FG.”

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

Udo 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 pursued. This, he said, was done through government platforms such as GIFMIS and Treasury Single Account (TSA).