Senate Panel Resumes Probe into N30tn Ways and Means Loans with New Documents

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The Senate panel investigating the N30 trillion Ways and Means loans taken from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) under the leadership of Godwin Emefiele has received additional documents from the Office of the Accountant General, The PUNCH has learned. This development will allow the panel to resume its physical sittings after reviewing the new information.

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The panel had previously requested more documents from the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation (OAGF) to further investigate the controversial loans obtained during President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration. Sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed that the documents arrived at the National Assembly on Thursday.

“The documents from the Office of the Accountant General regarding the probe of the N30tn Ways and Means came on Thursday; the documents have been given to the chairman and the members of the panel,” a Senate source told The PUNCH.

Confirming the receipt of the documents, the Chairman of the Panel, Senator Isah Jibrin (APC, Kogi East), said, “Yes, the documents have come from the AGF and have been distributed to all panel members. At the moment, we are all studying them, and once that is concluded, we will resume physical meetings, hopefully by next week.”

Jibrin assured Nigerians that the panel would conduct thorough and diligent work to ensure accountability. “We have never stopped working on the probe; we just needed more documents, and now that we have them, nothing can hold us back.”

On February 20, the Senate resolved to investigate the N30tn loan, citing that the alleged reckless spending of the overdraft from the CBN largely contributed to the current food and security crises in the country. After its inauguration, the panel identified 13 infractions allegedly committed during the process of obtaining the loan from the CBN.

Despite a media report suggesting that the committee had found the actual loans approved under Emefiele amounted to about N7tn and not N30tn as claimed, Jibrin clarified that the figures under investigation were not in dispute. He emphasized that the committee only required additional documents from the Accountant-General’s office to continue the investigation. “The amount under probe is N30tn. I don’t know why people are spreading falsehood to achieve a selfish purpose,” he stated.

During the Ninth Assembly, President Buhari requested the restructuring of the accumulated N22.7tn Ways and Means loans, along with an additional N1tn for funding the N819.5bn 2022 supplementary budget, totaling N23.7tn. This request, dated December 20, 2022, explained that the Ways and Means are advances from the CBN to the federal government for emergency funding due to delayed fiscal deficits.

The Tenth Senate, on December 30, 2023, also approved the securitization of the outstanding debit balance of N7.3tn of the Ways and Means Advance in the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Federal Government for President Bola Tinubu.

Bisi Adele, The Naija247news
Bisi Adele, The Naija247newshttps://naija247news.com/
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