The Senate on Wednesday rejected a request by the president, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (ret.), to restructure the N22.7 trillion ways and means advances collected by the federal government from the Central Bank of Nigeria.
Lawmakers rejected the request after an uproar in the Senate over the issue.
In a letter read in the Senate on Wednesday of last week, Buhari requested the restructuring of media and form advances of N22.7tn collected from CBN in the last ten years, in addition to N1tn, to be collected as a new internal loan.
In the letter, he said the ways and means were advances from the Central Bank of Nigeria to the Federal Government for emergency financing of delayed receipt of fiscal deficits.
However, the problems began when the chairman of the committee, Solomon Adeola (APC Lagos Oeste), was called to present a report on the matter.
Some members of the upper legislative chamber were quick to raise objections when Senate leaders tried to obtain the report from their finance committee, which had recommended that the president’s request be granted.
Senator Betty Apiafi (PDP, Rivers), was the first to rise up against him over the constitutional issue, saying the Nigerian constitution does not know the ways and means of spending.
However, it was declared out of order by Senate President Ahmad Lawan for allowing the report to be presented before kicking its ass against it.
Some of the senators expressed their opposition to the report by grumbling as it was introduced by Senator Adeola.
Senator George Thompson Sekibo, (APC, Rivers State) raised a constitutional point to explain why the ‘ways and means’ developments were illegal and unconstitutional.
He informed the Senate that the President’s action also infringed the CBN Law, current Senate regulations, as well as attacked the privileges of the Senate and the National Assembly.
Senate President Ahmed Lawan tried several times to get the Senate to grant the president’s request, but failed due to the depth of information and arguments put forward by Sekibo.
Senator Sekibo cited sections 80, 83, Section 1, 13(1) of the 1999 Constitution and section 38 of the CBN Act while rejecting the request.