FG vows to audit N22.7tr Ways and Means


FG vows to audit N22.7tr Ways and Means

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Federal Government says it has resolved to audit the N22.7 trillion Ways and Means debt it’s owing the Central Bank of Nigeria.

Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Mr Wale Edun stated this at the Public Wealth Management Conference organised by the Ministry of Finance Incorporated.

According to him, “There was an inherited amount, N22.7 trillion backlog, we are auditing it, it’s like when I am ready to pay a loan at the bank I audit it I ask for an audit before agreeing on the sum to pay. But apart from that how do you close your ways and means gap, you get your revenue up, you get your expenditure down as much as possible.”

Edun noted that the CBN has advocated for reducing and eventually eliminating the “ways and means” approach, which involves borrowing from the CBN to finance government expenses.

He said to close the gap created by this practice, efforts are being made to increase revenue and reduce expenditure.

President Bola Tinubu’s administration inherited the N22.7trillion Ways and Means debt from past administrations.

From 1999 to May 29, 2023 previous governments accessed the Ways and Means (overdraft from the CBN) to run the government.

A substantial portion of the amount is alleged to be spent on paying civil servants salaries over the years.

Regarding revenue sources, Edun highlighted the importance of oil revenue and urged the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation to increase oil production while cutting costs.

He said efforts are also being made to improve revenue collection from government-owned enterprises and enhance the efficiency of tax collection through digitization and technology.

“We have used technology, digitisation such that we have laid the foundation for a total revamp of federal government revenues and we expect the revenues to go up from what is due to government at the hands of other companies and enterprises will automatically now be deducted using digitization,” he said.

The Minister also said there were plans to reform fiscal policies and tax systems to streamline processes, reduce taxes and eliminate unnecessary levies and fees.

According to him, this includes the introduction of an emergency intervention bill to rationalise taxes and improve revenue collection from corporate sectors and individuals.