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Senate Intensifies Probe Of N30trn Ways And Means, Extends Panel’s Job By 8 Weeks

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The ongoing Senate's probe into the total sum of N30trillion Ways and Means facilities granted the Federal Government at different times from 2014 to 2023 by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), has been intensified.

Window for intensification of the probe exercise was opened for the Senate Ad-hoc committee saddled with the responsibility of probing the N30 trillion loans last week Thursday by the Senate with two-month extension granted for the assignment.

The chairman of the Ad-hoc committee set up in March this year, Senator Isah Jibrin (APC, Kogi East), had while in seeking for more time, informed the Senate that the anticipated vital information for the probe exercise was still being expected from some of the relevant agencies involved in the spending of the monetary facilities.

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In telephone conversation with journalists in Abuja on Saturday , Senator Isah, who doubles as chairman, Senate Committee on Customs and Excise Duties, said the two-month extension granted the Committee by the Senate on Thursday last week, would make it to further intensify the probe exercise.

“Most of the relevant agencies have been contacted and their documents being thoroughly scrutinized as regards spending of the disbursement gotten from the ways and means .

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

“More pressures would now be mounted on a few of the agencies that have not adequately responded to vital information seeking requests forwarded to them, failure of which would lead to summoning of heads of such agencies.

“The new timeframe given for the investigation by the Senate, will surely make the committee, come up with thoroughly investigative report in September this year on how the N30trillion Ways and Means were disbursed within the period under review, for what purposes and expended,” he said.

LEADERSHIP reports that Ways and Means is a loan facility through which the CBN finances the federal government's budget shortfalls.

This way of financing government's 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 five per cent of the previous year's revenue, but this has been mostly breached over the years.

Recall that as a way of remedying the situation, the CBN Governor, Olayemi Cardoso, declared in February this year, that the apex bank would no longer grant Ways and Means advances to the government until all outstanding debts were refunded.


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