Firms, individuals refuse to pay N5.2tn debts – Minister

The Minister of Finance, Budget, and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, said the Federal Government was owed approximately N5.2 trillion in debts.JAMB Portal

During a two-day sensitisation training on Project Lighthouse held in Minna on Thursday for ICT and account personnel in federal ministries, departments, and agencies across the North-Central zone, Ahmed revealed that the debt was owed by over 5,000 companies and individuals.

The Minister, who was represented by the Director of Special Projects at the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget, and National Planning, Victor Omata, stated that these debts were owed by 19 ministries, departments, and organizations.InformationGuideNigeria

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She claimed that businesses and individuals who owed money to federal government agencies had failed to pay up.

She emphasized the lack of visibility of these transactions, ineffective information sharing, and lax enforcement as causes of income gaps.

“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.”NYSC Portal

He urged government MDAs to collaborate and contribute quality and pertinent debt-related data to populate the platform, stating that doing so would strengthen the nation’s economic foundation.

Alhaji Ibrahim Matane, secretary to the Niger state government, stated that Project Lighthouse would reduce excesses and recover outstanding debts, allowing the government to use the funds for other projects.

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