Senate Calls CBN Officials to Account for N30 Trillion Loans

NASS: 'We're Committed To Gender Equity' - Akpabio

The Senate is gearing up to question Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) officials regarding the acquisition and utilization of the N30 trillion Ways and Means loan by the Federal Government during the tenure of President Muhammadu Buhari.

Senator Isah Jibrin, the Chairman of the Senate Ad-hoc Committee overseeing the investigation, revealed in an exclusive interview with The PUNCH that the panel would kick off the probe this week.

Following the appointment of Jibrin as the committee’s chairperson on Tuesday, the Senate set its sights on delving into the N30 trillion Ways and Means loan, which was disbursed by the then CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, to the Buhari administration.

Ways and Means loans are overdrafts directly acquired from the central bank to bridge budget shortfalls or address urgent national needs, typically with executive approval, to be subsequently ratified by the parliament.

The Senate, in its resolution last week Tuesday, cited the alleged extravagant expenditure of the overdraft obtained from the CBN as a significant factor contributing to the current food and security crises in the country. Consequently, the Senate decided to establish an Ad-hoc committee to investigate the utilization of the funds, noting the deliberate withholding of expenditure details from the National Assembly.

Echocho, as the chairman of the panel, disclosed that preliminary investigations had already commenced based on available documents. He expressed intentions to reach out to the CBN for further information before the committee’s formal proceedings.

In a subsequent interview, Echocho stated, “We are aiming for next week to commence committee-level investigations, but personally, I’m not waiting. I have some initial documents, and I intend to request clarification from the CBN on specific matters.”

He elaborated on the scope of the inquiry, emphasizing the need to ascertain the beneficiaries, terms, and conditions, as well as collateral arrangements associated with the loans. Echocho stressed that the objective was not to target individuals but to ensure transparency and accountability in the management of public funds.

Regarding the involvement of Emefiele, Echocho indicated that while he may be called upon as the investigation progresses, the immediate focus is on understanding the intricacies of the loans and their impact on the economy.

The probe reflects a broader commitment to scrutinize past financial practices and pave the way for informed decision-making to address current economic challenges.

Leave a Reply