The Federal Ministry of Finance said it has recovered an approximate sum of N57 billion from over 5,000 debtors owed to Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of the federal government.
Director of the Special Projects in the ministry, Mrs Aisha Omar, disclosed this Tuesday in Gombe, at the opening of a one-day sensitisation workshop on debts recovery for stakeholders drawn from MDAs in North East zone.
She revealed that the ministry through the consolidation efforts of the ‘Debt Analytics and Reporting Application’ has been able to aggregate the debts of approximately N5.2 trillion from data aggregated from over 5,000 debtors owed to the MDAs.
She added that the debt aggregation effort is still ongoing and that currently an approximate sum of N57 billion has been recovered so far from the amount due to concerted efforts on the part of stakeholders and federal government.
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Mrs Omar said the ministry came up with a programme tagged ‘Project Lighthouse’ to help the federal government unravel and recover debts from the debtors.
She said an important part of the ministry’s policies and strategies is to leverage big data technology to help block revenue loopholes, “identify new revenue opportunities and optimise existing revenue streams and improve fiscal transparency.
“To actualise this 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.
“Generally, revenue loopholes have been aided by poor information sharing and enforcement,” she said.
The director said data from the ‘Project Lighthouse’ revealed that many companies and individuals who owe government agencies refused to honour their obligations, “and still being paid through the government platforms such as GIFMIS and Treasury Single Account (TSA) due to lack of visibility over these transactions.”