The Minister of Finance, Budget, and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, has said that the Ministry was leveraging a multilayer data mining effort to recover huge debts owed to the Federal Government by various Ministries Departments, and Agencies (MDAs).
Speaking at the formal launch of Project Lighthouse Debt Analytics and Reporting Platform in Abuja on Monday, Ahmed disclosed that through the consolidation efforts of the project, the government has been able to aggregate monumental debts of approximately N5.2 trillion owed by MDAs, out of which N53.5 billion has been recovered in the last 12-18 months.
Project Lighthouse is an initiative that entails using advanced data mining and analytics techniques to identify tax defaulters, establish their tax liabilities and send notifications to appropriate authorities for necessary action.
According to the Minister, the debts came to the spotlight from data aggregated from over 5,000+ debtors across 10 MDAs.
She said: “Working in collaboration with the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation (OAGF), we have been able to recover the sum of N53.5 billion 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. “The Debt Recovery Unit will capitalize on the effort made by the project consultants to provide the government with up-to-date records of its credit status by harmonizing debt records across all MDAs within the country, give 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”, she explained.
Report From Uche Usim, Abuja