Over 5000 debtors owe FG N5.2trn – Finance minister

THE Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, has revealed that over 5000 individuals and corporate companies are owing the Federal Government approximately N5.2 trillion in debts.

The minister, who spoke at a two-day sensitisation workshop organised for ICT and account staff in federal ministries, departments and agencies across the North-Central Zone in Minna on Thursday, December 15, said the debtors cut across 10 ministries, departments and agencies.


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Zainab, who was represented by the Director of Special Projects in the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Victor Omata, said the debtors had refused to honour their obligations to the Federal Government.

“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. These debts came to the spotlight from data aggregated from over 5,000+ debtors across 10 Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs).  The debt aggregation effort is still ongoing.






     

     

    “These debts are in the form of debt liabilities to the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS); refunds to the government by companies who failed to deliver on projects for which payment had been effected, unpaid credit facilities granted to both corporate entities and individuals by the Bank of Industry (BOI) and Bank of Agriculture (BOA); judgment debt in favor of Government; debts owed Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD) by Insurance Companies among others.”

    She added that the Ministry intends to leverage ‘big data’ technology to block revenue loopholes and recover debts for the government.

    “An important part of our policies and strategies is to leverage big data technology to help block revenue loopholes, recover debts, identify new revenue opportunities, optimize existing revenue streams, especially non-oil revenue as well as improve fiscal transparency,” she added.

    The minister equally urged the MDAs to provide quality and relevant debt-related information to populate the platform and also improve the Nigerian economy.

    Usman Mustapha is a solution journalist with International Centre for Investigative Reporting. You can easily reach him via: [email protected]. He tweets @UsmanMustapha_M

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