Senate Inaugurates Committee to Probe N30tn CBN Loans


Senate Inaugurates Committee to Probe N30tn CBN Loans

The Senate President, Godswill Akpabio, has charged the panel members investigating the N30tn “Ways and Means” loans secured from the Godwin Emefiele-led Central Bank of Nigeria by the Federal Government not to leave any stone unturned, saying the panel must unravel everything about the facility.

The panel was also charged to probe the over N1tn Anchor Borrower Programme of the CBN under the immediate past administration.

Speaking on Monday in Abuja while inaugurating the 17-member Ad-hoc Committee probing the N30tn loan obtained during the former President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration, Akpabio charged the committee to spend six weeks in carrying out the exercise.

Abkpabio further admonished the lawmakers to shun personal and partisan interest, focus on the task at hand and approach their responsibilities with utmost balance, devotion and impartiality.

Recognising the sensitivity of the investigation at hand, Akpabio reminded them to constantly engage with relevant stakeholders and consultants to provide invaluable insights while maintaining open lines of communication with the executive and the public.

He however , told the panel that no aspect of the report must be leaked to the public until the task was concluded.

Akpabio said, “Today, we gather here with a common purpose – to inaugurate a crucial Ad-Hoc Committee. This committee, which was constituted following the report of the Joint Committees on Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions; Finance; National Planning; Agriculture; and Appropriations after interacting with the Federal Government’s Economic Management Team, holds great significance as it is charged with the investigation of the ways and means, including the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme.

“The constitution of this committee is a testament to the Senate’s unwavering commitment to transparency, accountability, and good governance. it reflects our dedication to addressing the concerns of the Nigerian people and upholding the principles of democracy.

“To the members of this esteemed committee, I implore you to approach your responsibilities with the utmost sense of patriotism, professionalism and integrity. Your investigation demands impartiality and fairness, always keeping the public interest and the welfare of our nation 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.”

Giving further charge, the senate president said, “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.

“Moreover, confidentiality is paramount to your work. 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.”

Meanwhile, the Chairman of the ad-hoc committee, Jibrin Isah, said the panel would not fail Nigerians on this issue.

He said, “The Ways and Means and the Anchor borrowers programme have occupied the public space in the last few months.

“There have been various distortions; the ways and means have aroused various forms of discussions amongst individuals and groups looking for opinions and interpretations.”

He added he believed Nigerians were waiting for the result of this investigation.

“I want to assure you that we are going to carry out this assignment expeditiously without any form of compromise.

“I want to plead with concerned parties to please make documents available when we request for them in order to make our work easier for us. We are going to do the very best that Nigerians would be very proud of.”

The committee which is led by Senator Jibrin Isah, (APC, Kogi East), has its members as Senators Asuquo Ekpenyong (APC, Cross River South); Mohammed Tahir Monguno, (APC, Borno North); Victor Umeh, (LP, Anambra Central) and Olamilekan Adeola, (APC, Ogun West).

Others are Senators Sani Musa, (APC, Niger East); Aliyu Wadada, (SDP, Nasarawa); Abdul Ningi, (PDP, Bauchi Central) and Ipalibo Banigo Harry, (PDP, Rivers West).