It seems that the non-approval of the N22.7 trillion ways and means by the Senate before going into recess has created more debt for Nigeria.

The non-approval of the ways and means may have caused Nigeria to incur an additional 1.8 trillion naira in debt. Nigeria already faces a huge debt load running into the billions.

The Ways and Means is a request from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) sent to the National Assembly by the presidency.

The Ways and Means is a resource requested by the CBN to make outstanding payments.

But on Wednesday, the Senate scrapped the planned final consideration and approval of the N22.7 trillion means and forms restructuring request sent to it and the House of Representatives by President Muhammadu Buhari in December 2022.

The National Assembly is supposed to consider and approve to allow the executive to execute some of its projects.

But the failure of the Senate to pass President Buhari’s N22.7 trillion ways and means restructuring request has put Nigeria at risk of incurring an additional N1.8 trillion in debt, as the president warned three weeks ago. when he approved the N21.83 billion budget 2023.

By dismissing the request, its consideration was not included in the order document used for Wednesday’s plenary, nor was it mentioned by the leader of the Senate, who is the chairman of the special committee created for that purpose.

Senate President Ahmad Lawan declared on Tuesday last week that the Senate was ready to approve the request, provided that Finance Minister Zainab Ahmed and CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele would make the required details available from Expenses.

Previously, the duo did not provide details that delayed consideration.

But when lawmakers resumed plenary, they made efforts to restructure the N22.7 trillion ways and means request but failed.

Senate President Ahmad Lawan said the Senate and, by extension, the House of Representatives would have suspended plenary session in the penultimate week of Thursday until after the presidential and National Assembly elections, but awaited details from Media. and Excise.

“We must have the necessary information for the approval of the N22.7 billion means and forms restructuring request as time is not on our side in the Senate now in view of the upcoming general elections.

“If it is necessary for the Senate to sit until Friday (last week) for thorough consideration and approval of the request, it will be done, but affected executive officials must also expedite action on providing the required information with regarding the documents authorizing approval and disbursement of the money totaling N22.7 trillion,” Lawan said.

But the committee led by Senator Gobir failed to submit any report for the Senate’s consideration on Tuesday and Wednesday, causing the Senate to adjourn without approving it as previously scheduled.

It was collected that expected details from the executive arm of the government on how the N22.7 trillion was spent over 10 years were not provided.

Nigeria, as President Muhammadu Buhari warned three weeks ago, risks incurring an additional 1.8 billion naira if the 22.7 trillion naira ways and means restructuring requested by the National Assembly is not approved.

President Buhari, who made the caveat while approving the N21.83 trillion budget for 2023, said: “The balance of N22.7 trillion ways and means has been accumulated over several years and represents the funding provided by the CBN as a lender. last resort for the government. to enable you to meet obligations to lenders, as well as cover budget shortfalls in projected income and/or loans.

”I do not intend to hinder the right of the National Assembly to question the composition of this balance sheet, which can still be done even after granting the requested approval.

“However, not granting securitization approval will cost the government around N1.8 trillion in additional interest in 2023 given the spread between the applicable interest rates, which is currently MPR plus 3% and the negotiated interest rate of 9% and a 40-year bond”. amortization term of the securitized debt of Ways and Means”.

Nigerians now ask: In whose interest did the national assembly go into recess? The legislators had more than three weeks before the elections, what made them not fulfill such an important legislative duty before taking the recess? The national assembly that earlier announced that it has completed its legislative agenda must ensure that its decisions and actions benefit the Nigerian people before the end of its term.