• Thursday, April 18, 2024
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Senate panel begins investigation into CBN’s anchor borrower, N30trn ways and means

The Senate on Monday inaugurated an ad-hoc committee to probe the ways and means advance from the Central Bank of Nigeria to the federal government under former President Muhammadu Buhari totalling N30 trillion including interest rate.

The ad-hoc committee will interrogate the details of the ways and means of disbursement usage, particularly the intervention programmes such as the anchor borrowers programmes, excess funding in the power sector, monies given to manufacturers, banks and airlines which increased the current debt profile of the country.

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The Committee will interrogate the ‘quasi-fiscal measures’ totalling N10 trillion of which the Anchor Borrower programme was a major part of.

The ninth Senate in May 2023 approved the securitisation of the N22.7 trillion ways and means to the federal government as requested by the former President. Though the approval was given with a caveat that details of the spending will be provided, the government did not. The 10th Senate then approved N7.2trillion accrued interest in December. 2023.

The ad-hoc committee which held its inaugural meeting on Monday has six weeks to conclude its investigation.

Godswill Akpabio, the Senate President, who inaugurated the Committee said the the investigation demands impartiality and fairness, while urging the committee to always keep the public interest and the welfare of Nigeria at the forefront.

“We must leave no stone unturned in our pursuit of the truth. Therefore, conduct thorough inquiries and dig out information that will assist the Senate in making laws for the betterment of our country. The success of this Ad-Hoc committee hinges on collaboration, cooperation, and a steadfast commitment to the common good.

“Let us set aside personal and partisan interests, focusing solely on the task at hand. By working harmoniously, we can ensure that the Ways and Means in Nigeria are managed prudently, efficiently, and in accordance with the law”, he said.

Akoabio further warned that confidentiality is paramount stating that” The information and data we gather during our investigations are sensitive and must be handled with the utmost care and discretion. Adhering to strict protocols will ensure the security and integrity of the information you uncover.”

“The details must be handled with utmost care. We must not see any aspect of the report of the on the media”, Akpabio added.

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In his acceptance, Isah Jibrin, Chairman of the ad-hoc committee assured that the this assignment will be carried out expeditiously but without any form of compromise.

He implored all parties, and the beneficiaries of the programme, that they should please make available relevant documents.

“I equally want to implore them to make themselves available when we call for an interface to make our work easy for us. I thank everyone here and I assure you, we are going to do the very best that Nigerians will be proud of”, he said.