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Zainab Ahmed narrates how FG recovered N49bn debt from contractors

Minister of finance, budget and national planning, Zainab Ahmed has stated that the federal government has recovered N49.7 billion debt owed to it by contractors and other third parties.

The minister said the recovery was through Project Lighthouse, out of N5.2 trillion worth of debts

This was disclosed on Friday in Abuja by the minister at the Executive Intelligence Management Course 14 of the National Institute for Security Studies (NISS), themed, ‘Security and Sustainable Development in Africa: Nexus, Challenges and Prospects’.

She said the project was one of the initiatives spearheaded by the finance ministry and its agencies, in line with the present administration’s commitment to sustainable development, governance and security.

“Project Lighthouse is a data driven artificial intelligence engine that provides the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning with an intelligence and profiling platform to aid in policy formulation, implementation and impact assessment,” Ahmed explained.

“It enables the aggregation of data from a variety of sources to give us the capability to develop an intelligent data-driven revenue mobilisation model.”

Yunusa Abdullahi, Ahmed’s spokesperson, in a statement, quoted the minister as saying that the second phase of implementation of Project Lighthouse has been approved by the federal executive council.

On tackling insecurity in the country, Ahmed said security agencies were prioritised in the allocation of limited revenues.

“As an example, about 86 percent of the 2021 Supplementary Budget was dedicated to the capital and recurrent expenditure needs of the security agencies to supplement the allocations in the 2021 Amended Budget,” she said.

She further described the 5.01 percent economic growth for the second quarter of 2021 as “very encouraging news.”

According to her, it indicates that the Nigerian economy is on a solid path to recovery.

“It is important to note that much of the growth was driven by the expansion of the non-oil sector of the economy where most Nigerians are employed,” Ahmed added.

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