Senate increases Ways and Means, amends CBN Act to allow more borrowings


By Sodiq Adelakun

The Nigerian Senate has increased the borrowing limit for the Federal Government from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

The implementation year for the 2022 Supplementary Appropriation Act was extended.

The Senate held an emergency session ahead of the presidential inauguration.

The Nigerian Senate has in an emergency plenary session on Saturday amended the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Act to increase the total CBN advances (Ways and Means provision) to the Federal Government from five per cent to a maximum of 15 per cent.

It could be recalled that there was an emergency session being held by the Senate to approve an amendment to the CBN Act to allow for more borrowing.

The emergency plenary session which was reported to have started around 11 am on Saturday is a departure from the usual practice which has the sitting days for the Senate plenary on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

The Senate Leader, Abdullahi Gobir, who read the lead debate on the bill, said the proposed amendment is to enable the Federal Government to meet its immediate and future obligation in the approval of the ways and means by the National Assembly and advances to the Federal Government by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

The upper legislative chamber during the sitting of the committee of the whole also amended the 2022 Supplementary Appropriation Act to extend the implementation year from June 30 to December 31, 2023.

This was to allow full implementation of the budget, especially in light of the 2022 supplementary budget approved in December 2022. The extension had allowed the Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) of government to utilise a large proportion of funds released to them.

However, according to Senate Leader, Abdullahi Gobir, a significant amount of funds remain with MDAs and will require a further extension to be fully expended.

He said that considering the critical importance of some key projects nearing completion, requesting a further extension of the expiration clause in the 2022 Supplementary Appropriation Bill is expedient to avoid compounding the problem of abandoned projects as some of them were not provided for in the 2023 Budget.

The Senate is therefore amending the 2022 appropriation act to allow full utilisation of the capital releases to help reflate the economy.