Senate rejects N22.7trn ‘Ways and Means’ request

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The Senate has jettisoned planned final consideration and passage of N22.7 trillion Ways and Means restructuring request forwarded to it and the House of Representatives by President Muhammadu Buhari in December 2022 for expeditious consideration.

The payment of N23. 7 trillion “Ways and Means” was secured from the Central Bank of Nigeria(CBN) in the last 10 years.

Buhari had warned that refusal to pass the N22.7 trillion Ways and Means Restructuring request will place Nigeria at risk of incurring additional N1.8 trillion debt.

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At the commencement of plenary on Wednesday, there were indications that the lawmakers would throw out the request against the backdrop that consideration for it was neither listed on the Order Paper used nor mentioned by the Senate Leader, who is the Chairman of the Special Committee set up for that purpose.

It was gathered that senators had vowed to kick against the passage of CBN loan of N23. 7 trillion to the Federal Government because they want the breakdown on how the money was spent and for what purpose.

Recall that the President of the Senate, Senator Ahmad Lawan, had last week Tuesday declared that the Senate was ready to approve the request, provided required details of the spendings were made available by the Finance Minister, Zainab Ahmed, and Governor of the Central Bank, Godwin Emefiele.

The Senate and the House of Representatives would have adjourned plenary on Thursday last week till after the Presidential and National Assembly election, but for restructuring of N22.7 trillion Ways and Means request,

Lawan had said last week that “We must have necessary information for passage of the N22.7 trillion Ways and Means Restructuring request as time is not on our side in the Senate now in view of coming general elections.

“If there is need for the Senate to sit up to Friday (last week) for thorough consideration and passage of the request, it will be done.

“But the affected officials from the executive must also expedite action on provision of required information as regards documents authorising approval and disbursement of the monies totalling N22.7 trillion.”

Till the end of Wedneday’s sitting, Senator Gobir-led committee did not present any report for consideration by the Senate, making the Upper Chamber to adjourn without approving it as earlier planned.

It was gathered the expected details from the executive arm of government on how the N22.7 trillion was expended within 10 years, were not provided.

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