January 18, 2023
The Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, has declared the Senate is ready to approve the N23.7tn debt restructuring request made by the President, Major General, Muhammadu Buhari, (Retd.), in December last year.
The senate also blamed the Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, and the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, for stalling the approval of the request by delaying the provision of the necessary document containing details of the Ways and Means Advances.
The lawmakers led by the Rivers West senator, Betty Apiafi, had vehemently opposed the passage of the ‘securitisation’ of the advances collected from the Central Bank of Nigeria within the last ten years in addition to N1tn to be collected as fresh domestic loan.”
The Senators alleged that both the President and the CBN governor had breached both the Constitution.
Buhari had urged the legislature to approve the request, noting that failure to pass the document would cost the government about N1.8tn in additional interest payment in 2023.
On Tuesday, however, Lawan asked the executive arm of government to provide the details of the N22.7tn Ways and Means restructuring request.
It specifically ordered Ahmed and Emefiele to supply the required information within three days.
He said the Senate was ready to approve the request after thorough scrutiny which could only be done if required details were provided by relevant officials from the executive arm of government.
He said, “We must have the necessary information for passage of the N22.7tn request and time is not on our side in the Senate now in view of coming general elections.
“ If there is a need for the Senate to sit up to Friday this 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 the provision of the required information as regards documents authorising approval and disbursement of the monies totaling N22.7trillion”, he said.