The President Bola Tinubu-led federal government has begun an audit of the N22.7 trillion borrowed from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) during the tenure of Muhammadu Buhari.

Wale Edun, minister of finance and coordinating minister for the economy, disclosed this on Tuesday at the Public Wealth Management Conference organised by the Ministry of Finance Incorporated in Abuja.

Wale Edun, minister of finance and coordinating minister for the economy

Edun also said the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited has been asked to improve oil production to boost revenue.

Olayemi Cardoso, CBN Governor

He said the government will pursue policies that will allow it to harvest revenue in real-time from government-owned enterprises and corporate entities.

Edun said, “We have to stem liquidity. The central bank has led the way in pointing out that the Ways and Means have to be pared down and eliminated, and that is what we agree with.

“We are going in that direction; there was an inherited amount of N22.7 trillion in backlogs. We are auditing it, and it is like when I am ready to pay a loan from a bank and I ask for an audit before finding the agreed sum to pay.

“But apart from that, how do you get your Ways and Means down? We have to get revenues up and expenditure reduced as much as possible.”

Edun added that a bill will soon be presented to the National Assembly that will authorise the removal of all taxes and levies that constitute nuisance from the country’s tax system as a measure to wean itself from future Ways and Means indebtedness.

He said: “The committee will ensure that revenue that is due to the government from the corporate sector is efficiently brought in. We have a fiscal policy and tax reform committee that is going to revolutionise and is going to announce a very brief, very emergency intervention bill.

Armstrong Takang, CEO of MOFI, announced that the corporation will be launching a N100 billion project preparation fund to go to bankable projects.

He said: “Bankable projects require funding. You cannot create a type that bankable projects without financing.

“We are going to have a fund. We’re going to symbolise our partnership model by signing a collaboration agreement between MOFI, the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, and the African Development Bank, on collaborating for the strategic and industrial processing program.”

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