The federal government on Monday disclosed that it had recovered N53.5 billion out of N5.2 trillion owed by its ministries, departments, and agencies (MDAs).
Zainab Ahmed, minister of finance, budget, and national planning, made the disclosure at the formal launch of Project Lighthouse Debt Analytics and Reporting Platform in Abuja.
She said the project requires using advanced data mining and analytics techniques to identify tax defaulters, establish their tax liabilities and send notifications to appropriate authorities for necessary actions.
Through the efforts of the project, she said, the government had been able to collate huge debts of approximately N5.2 trillion owed by MDAs, out of which N53.5 billion had been recovered in the last 12 to18 months.
According to Ahmed, the figures came up from data aggregated from over 5,000 debtors across 10 MDAs.
She added that Debt Recovery Application has been built strengthen the ongoing effort of the project.
“Working in collaboration with the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation (OAGF), we have been able to recover the sum of N53.5 billion within the last 12-18 months, through the Government Integrated Financial Management Information System (GIFMIS) as a recovery touch-point,” she said.
“To consolidate on the current effort of this project, a Debt Recovery Application has been built to be monitored by the new Debt Recovery Unit.
“The debt recovery unit will capitalise on the effort made by the project consultants to provide the government with up-to-date records of its credit status.
“By harmonising debt records across all MDAs within the country, give debtors access to a platform to view and offset debt in a seamless and secured manner as well as strengthen the institutional framework for enforcement and management of the Federal Debt Recovery plan”
The minister further implored all federal government-owned enterprises (FGOEs) and MDAs to update their list of debtors on a month-on-month basis in line with the project’s debt recovery portfolio.