Buhari’s N30trn CBN loan probe not in limbo – Senate

From Fred Itua, Abuja

The Senate, through its Ad – hoc committee Investigating the N30 trillion Ways and Means facility expended by President Muhammadu Buhari-led federal government between 2015 and 2023, has revealed that that the investigation was on course.

Chairman of the Committee, Isah Jibrin (APC Kogi East), made the declaration in a statement, refuting an online report which alleged that the investigation was in limbo.

The Ad – Committee Chairman in the rebuttal, attached a letter of reminder written to the office of the Accountant-General for the Federation, requiring for vital information for thoroughness of the investigative exercise .

Jibrin who doubles as Chairman , Senate committee on Customs and Excise Duties explained in the statement that though the Ad – hoc committee was given six weeks when inaugurated in March to carry out the exercise and report back to the Senate, but thoroughness and diligence required for the sensitive national assignment had made the committee to exceed the time .

“The essence of an investigation is to come up with factual findings and not just roll in report within specified time frame.

“Investigation on the N30trillion Ways and Means , is on course and not in anyway , in limbo as insinuated by an online platform today .

“Some of the required findings have been made and still being made as clearly shown by letter of reminder recently written to the office of Accountant General of the Federation,” he said.

The letter dated 19th June , 2024 , personally signed by Jibrin and titled: “Request for Submission of Additional Information”, reads: “You may recall our earlier letter on the above subject dated 27th May , 2024, requesting for the following additional information on Ways and Means , which you are yet to respond to.

“The required information are ÷ Details of disbursements under ways and means , Names of the beneficiaries , Amount / date of disbursements , purpose of the disbursements , terms of the disbursement ( where applicable ), repayment schedule ( where applicable ) and adherence to the repayment schedule.”

Ways and Means is a loan facility through which the Central Bank of Nigeria ( CBN) , finances the federal government’s budget shortfalls.

This way of financing government deficits usually results in macroeconomic instability, leading to inflation and high exchange rates because of the excess liquidity injected into the economy.

The CBN law limits advances under ways and means to 5 percent of the previous year’s revenue, but this has been mostly breached over the years.

As a way of remedying the situation, the CBN Governor, Olayemi Cardoso, declared in February this year , that the bank would no longer grant ways and means advances to the government “until all outstanding debts are refunded.”

 

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