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Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Senate launches inquiry into N30tn ways and means loan amid concerns over fiscal transparency

Probe Targets Central Bank of Nigeria Officials to Uncover Details of Loan Utilization During Buhari Administration

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The Nigerian Senate has announced its intent to interrogate officials from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) regarding the acquisition and disbursement of the N30tn Ways and Means loan by the Federal Government during the tenure of the Muhammadu Buhari-led administration.

Senator Isah Jibrin, Chair of the Senate Ad-hoc Committee overseeing the investigation, unveiled plans to initiate the probe this week, shedding light on the committee’s mandate to scrutinize the financial mechanisms surrounding the substantial loan.

The ‘Ways and Means’ facility, characterized as an overdraft extended directly from the central bank to address budget deficits or emergent national exigencies, has drawn sharp parliamentary scrutiny amid concerns over fiscal accountability and expenditure oversight.

Following a resolution passed by the Senate last week, Senator Jibrin was appointed to lead the investigative panel tasked with unraveling the intricacies of the N30tn loan, which was sanctioned by former CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, to the Buhari administration.

Echoing parliamentary sentiments, Senator Jibrin emphasized the imperative of examining the loan’s utilization, particularly in light of the mounting challenges confronting the nation, including food insecurity and escalating security threats.

In an interview, Senator Jibrin articulated the committee’s methodological approach, outlining plans to solicit critical information from the CBN to illuminate the loan’s beneficiaries, terms, and repayment modalities.

Senator Jibrin underscored the committee’s commitment to transparency and accountability, asserting that the inquiry seeks to ascertain the broader societal implications of fiscal decisions while safeguarding public interests.

While affirming the Senate’s mandate to uphold fiscal probity, Senator Jibrin underscored the pivotal role of economic expertise in shaping policy measures and mitigating adverse repercussions for the populace.

As the investigation unfolds, speculations loom over the potential summons of former CBN Governor Emefiele, underscoring the probe’s escalating gravity and its implications for financial stewardship and governance accountability.

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