Senate grants additional two months for N30trn Ways and Means probe

…Extends probe panel’s deadline by two months

The Senate has approved an additional two months for the Ad-hoc Committee investigating the N30 trillion Ways and Means facilities granted to the Federal Government by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) between 2014 and 2023.

The Committee, chaired by Senator Isah Jibrin, APC, Kogi East, had requested more time to receive vital information from relevant agencies involved in the spending of the monetary facilities.

Senator Jibrin stated, “Most of the relevant agencies have been contacted, and their documents are being thoroughly scrutinised as regards spending of the disbursement gotten from the ways and means.”

He added, “Being a very sensitive national assignment, the committee is carrying out a very thorough investigation devoid of rushing into conclusion.”

The Committee has intensified its efforts to ensure a thorough investigation, and the additional time frame will enable them to submit a comprehensive report in September. Senator Jibrin warned that the Committee may summon heads of agencies that fail to respond to vital information requests.

The investigation into the N30 trillion Ways and Means facilities was initiated by the Senate in March, with a six-week deadline. The Committee’s report will shed light on how the funds were disbursed, for what purposes, and whether they were expended efficiently.

The Committee that is probing the humongous N30 trillion ‘Ways and Means’, which was released as loan to the Federal Government during the former President Muhammadu Buhari administration which is chaired by Senator Jibrin Isah, APC, Kogi East, has Senators Asuquo Ekpenyong, APC, Cross River South; Mohammed Tahir Monguno, APC, Borno North; Victor Umeh, LP, Anambra Central and Olamilekan Adeola, APC, Ogun West as members.

Others are Senators Sani Musa, APC, Niger East; Aliyu Wadada, SDP, Nasarawa; Abdul Ningi, PDP, Bauchi Central and Ipalibo Banigo Harry, PDP, Rivers West.

The ‘Ways and Means’ is an overdraft taken directly from the Central Bank of Nigeria to solve contingency needs of the nation following approval and directive of the executive arm of government which would have to be ratified by the parliament.

The financing of government deficits through Ways and Means facilities often leads to macroeconomic instability, causing inflation and high exchange rates due to excess liquidity in the economy.

Although the CBN law restricts Ways and Means advances to 5% of the previous year’s revenue, this limit has been frequently exceeded in past years.

In an effort to address this issue, CBN Governor Olayemi Cardoso announced in February that the bank will no longer provide Ways and Means advances to the government until all outstanding debts are repaid.

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