Senate Summons CBN Gov, Finance Minister, Others Over N500bn Loan Disbursement
An ad-hoc committee set up by the Senate to investigate the disbursement of development funds to 36 states of the federation since 2017, has summoned the Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed; the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, and others.
They are expected to explain their roles in the exercise.
The Senate, last week, based on a motion moved by Senator Ali Ndume (APC Borno South) on the alleged uneven disbursement of development funds to states by the Development Bank of Nigeria, set up a seven- member ad-hoc committee to probe the allegation.
The committee, headed by Senator Sani Musa (APC Niger East), held its inaugural sitting on Tuesday.
It resolved to summon the Minister of Finance, the CBN Governor, Managing Directors of the Development Bank of Nigeria, Bank of Industry, Bank of Agriculture and Director General of Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency, for explanations on criteria used for disbursement of the fund within the last five years.
Musa explained that the committee’s mandate was to find out the reasons behind the lopsidedness of the disbursement across the six geo-political zone with Lagos State alone having 47 per cent of it.
He said, “Available information at the disposal of this committee shows that there are worries about the disbursement methodology employed by the Development Bank of Nigeria as not every MSMEs in the country, particularly in the north, knows about the bank.
“This clearly calls for a thorough investigation as mandated by the Senate as regards conformity or otherwise to criteria set for disbursement of the fund.
“There is also, the need for a critical review of the total amount disbursed to beneficiary MSMEs from inception to date and total recovery made , if any, will also be made .
“In doing this exercise, the committee will summon the Minister of Finance , the CBN Governor , Managing Directors of DBN , BOI, DG of SMEDAN and other relevant agencies as far as the fund is concerned,” he said.
He, however stressed that the committee was not out to witch hunt any one ,but would evaluate the criteria that qualifies MSMEs to access the loan and at what interest rate.
The investigation he added, seems very daunting, but with patriotism, cooperation and commitment, the committee would succeed.