Finance Ministry Recovers N57 Billion in MDAs’ Debts – Director

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The Federal Ministry of Finance has successfully retrieved over N57 billion from the N5.2 trillion debts owed by various ministries, departments, and agencies (MDAs) to the Federal Government.

Aisha Omar, the Director of Special Projects at the Federal Ministry of Finance, made this revelation during a one-day workshop on the Federal Government Debt Recovery Drive in Enugu. The event focused on the Project Lighthouse Programme for the South-East zone.

Omar, speaking at the workshop represented by Mrs. Bridget Molokwu, the Deputy Director of Special Projects, stated that the recovered debts were identified from data collected from over 5,000 debtors across more than 93 MDAs. Although she couldn’t provide specific data on additional recoveries, she confirmed the official figure of N57 billion, highlighting that the debts primarily comprised liabilities to the Federal Inland Revenue Service.

Furthermore, Molokwu disclosed that the ministry received refunds from companies that failed to fulfill their contractual obligations, as well as refunds for unpaid credit facilities from institutions like the Bank of Industry and Bank of Agriculture. Additionally, refunds were obtained for judgment debts in favor of the government and outstanding debts owed to the Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate by insurance companies.

She emphasized that the Ministry’s efforts in consolidating debt analytics and reporting applications had facilitated the aggregation of debts amounting to approximately N5.2 trillion. So far, approximately N57 billion has been recovered through concerted efforts by stakeholders and the Federal Government.

Molokwu highlighted a concerning trend where companies and individuals owing government agencies were still receiving payments through government platforms like the Government Integrated Financial Management Information System (GIFMIS) and Treasury Single Account (TSA) due to a lack of visibility over these transactions.

To address these challenges and achieve the debt recovery goals, the Federal Ministry of Finance initiated ‘Project Lighthouse.’ This project aims to aggregate relevant economic and financial information from multiple agencies that previously didn’t share data, facilitating more effective debt recovery efforts.

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