BY NAJIB SANI, GOMBE
The federal ministry of finance as organised sensitisation workshop to stakeholders drawn from ministries, departments and agencies from the North East zone on its debts recovery drive.
Declaring the sensitisation workshop open on Tuesday at Custodian Hotel in Gombe, Gombe State, the director special projects of the ministry Aisha Omar explained that the ministry came up with a programme tagged ‘Project Lighthouse’ to help the federal government unravel debts and recover them from debtors.
She said one of the key economic policy objectives of the ministry is improving federal government’s revenues by targeting and increasing revenues from non-oil revenue sources.
According to her, an important part of their policies and strategies is to leverage big data technology to help block revenue loopholes, identify new revenue opportunities, optimise existing revenue streams especially non- oil revenue as well as improve fiscal transparency.
“In actualising 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. Data from Project Lighthouse revealed that many companies and individuals who owe government agencies, have refused to honor their obligations were still being paid especially through the government platforms such as GIFMIS and Treasury Single Account (TSA) due to lack of visibility over these transactions.”, she stated.
The director 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 Ministries, Departments and Agencies.
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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