Buhari’s Request to Restructure N22tn Loan Rejected by Senate
The Senate has rejected the request of President Muhammadu Buhari, to restructure the N22.7tn Ways and Means advances collected from the Central Bank of Nigeria by the Federal Government.
On Wednesday, the Senate rejected the request after an uproar over the issue.
Recall, Economic Confidential earlier reported that Buhari had in a letter read on the floor of the Senate on Wednesday last week sought for restructuring of the N22.7tn ways and means advances collected from CBN within the last ten years in addition to N1tn to be collected as fresh domestic loan.
In the letter, he said ways and means were advances from the Central Bank of Nigeria to the Federal Government for emergency funding of delayed receipt of fiscal deficits.
Also Read: Debts Hit N22.57tn: Buhari Seeks Lawmakers Approval of N819bn Fresh Loan
However, trouble started when the chairman of the committee, Solomon Adeola (APC Lagos West), was called upon to present a report on it.
Some members of the upper legislative chamber were quick to raise objections as the Senate leadership attempted to get the report of its finance committee, which had recommended that the president’s request be granted.
Senator Betty Apiafi (PDP, Rivers), was the first to rise against it through the constitutional point of order, saying ways and means of expenditure are not known to the Nigerian constitution.
She was, however, ruled out of order by the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, for allowing the report to be presented before kicking against it.
Some of the senators expressed their opposition to the report by grumbling while it was being presented by Senator Adeola.
Senator George Thompson Sekibo, (APC, Rivers State) raised a constitutional point of order to explain why the ‘ways and means’ advances were illegal and unconstitutional.
He informed the Senate that the action of the President was also in breach of the CBN Act, the Senate standing rules, just as it attacked the privileges of the Senate and National Assembly.
Senate President, Ahmed Lawan, attempted severally to get the Senate to accede to the president’s request but it failed because of the depth of information and argument adduced by Sekibo.
While kicking against the request, Senator Sekibo cited sections 80, 83, Section1,13(1) of the 1999 Constitution, and section 38 of the CBN Act as reference to back his point.