The Senate has suspended consideration of a request by President Muhammadu Buhari to approve the 23.7 trillion naira that have been spent.
The decision to suspend the application followed a rowdy session by lawmakers who opposed the application, calling it unconstitutional.
In a letter to the Senate last week, President Muhammadu Buhari sought lawmakers’ approval of the 23.7 trillion naira ways and means advance.
Ways and means are advances (or funds) from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to the federal government for emergency financing of delayed receipt of the fiscal deficit.
The president said the amount has been a funding option for the federal government to address short-term or emergency funding to finance the government’s expected cash receipt delayed from the physical deficit.
The balance of means and means as of December 19, 2022 is 22.7 trillion,” he said in the letter. “I have approved the securitization of the balances of ways and means in the following terms: Amount, N23.7 trillion; Tenure, 40 years; Moratorium on principal payment, three years; Price interest rate, nine percent.
PREMIUM TIMES reported how the chamber plunged into a chaotic session for minutes during the consideration of the report that was presented by the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, Adeola Olamilekan.
Many lawmakers who opposed the president’s request said it was against the law or wondered why the National Assembly was not notified when the amount was taken from the main bank.
The chaos in the chamber led Senate President Ahmad Lawan to call a closed-door session that lasted more than 30 minutes.
Resuming, Mr. Adeola modified the report’s recommendations.
It recommended that the N22.7 trillion advances of ways and means be reduced in order to take further legislative action and for the panel to receive the appropriate documents.
It also recommended that Naira 819.5 billion be removed from the additional Naira 1 trillion Ways and Means Advances to fund the previously approved supplementary budget.
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These recommendations were adopted by legislators.
Subsequently, Mr. Lawan announced that a special committee will be established to engage the relevant MDAs to obtain details of the president’s request.
The committee will be chaired by the leader of the Senate, Ibrahim Gobir. And members of the finance, appropriations, foreign and local debt, and banking committees will serve as members of the special committee.
The panel is due to report by January 17.
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