The Federal Government of Nigeria has revealed that 5,000 debtors are currently owing its ministries, departments and agencies a total sum of N5.2trn.
The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed stated that N53 billion has so far been recovered from debtors owing its MDAs in the last 12 to 18 months.
The minister stated this at the formal launch of the Project Lighthouse Debt Analytics and Reporting platform.
According to her, the recovery by her ministry was made possible in collaboration with the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation through the Integrated Financial Management Information System.
She said, “A perfunctory review of perceived significant leakages in government led the ministry to issue a directive on 26th September 2019, to all government agencies in a bid to aggregate all government debts across all ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs), with a view to having a single window on the credit profile of the government.
“Sequel to the issuance of the finance circular, the ministry through the consolidation efforts of the project, has been able to aggregate monumental debts of approximately N5.2trn.
“These debts came to the spotlight from data aggregated from over 5,000 debtors across ten ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs).
“Working in collaboration with the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation (OAGF), we have been able to recover the sum of N53.5bn within the last 12-18 months, through the Government Integrated Financial Management Information System (GIFMIS) as a recovery touchpoint.
“However, 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.”
She explained further that the Debt Recovery Unit will build on the efforts 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, giving 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 added that a fully operational website has been developed to effectively manage public perception of the government debt recovery efforts.