The securitization demand of the 23 trillion Ways of Means by President Muhammadu Buhari may suffer setback as the senate on Tuesday became furious with the behaviours of Zainab and Emefiele.
NewsOnline reports that the senate during session on Tuesday warned the Executive that it would not work on the securitization demand of the president if the concerned minister and the CBN governors fail to appear before its committee to provide the necessary information required.
The position of the senate followed the report of the Senate Leader, Senator Ibrahim Gobir (APC Sokoto East), the Chairman of the Special Committee set up to interface with the Finance Minister and CBN Governor for details on the N27.3 trillion Ways and Means Restructuring, that the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed and Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria ( CBN), Godwin Emefiele, have refused to co-operate with the committee to provide required information on the ways and Means.
He said: “As a special committee for urgent and thorough assignment, we hit the ground running immediately after composition on 28th of December last year.
“For required details on the N22.7 trillion Ways and Means Restructuring, six vital questions were raised, five for the CBN governor and one for the Finance Minister, but their trips abroad prevented us from asking them the questions.
“Now that they are around, we request the Senate to give us additional three days for thorough work on the assignment and submission of the report.”
The Senate, however, gave Zainab and Emefiele to supply, within three days, the required information on the presidential request to the special committee set up for that purpose last year, as requested by Gobir.
The President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, in his response described the Ways and Means request from the President as a very serious issue and must be treated the same way. He said the senate if possible will extend session to Friday to ensure that it worked on the Way and Means securitization request. He added that if the Minister of Finance and the CBN governor fail to appear within the given three days, the senate shall be left with no option but to proceed with campaign leave.
Lawan said, “We must have necessary information for passage of the N22.7 trillion request and time is not on our side in the Senate now in view of coming general elections.
“If there is need for the Senate to sit up to Friday this week for thorough consideration and passage of the request , it will be done but the affected officials from the executive must also expedite action on provision of required information as regards documents authorizing approval and disbursement of the monies totalling N22.7 trillion.”
Recall that President Buhari had in separate letters to both Chambers of the National Assembly on December 21, 2022, sought for approval of restructuring of N23.7 trillion Ways and Means.
The letter read in part: “The ways and Means Advances by the central bank of Nigeria, to the federal government has been a funding option to the federal government to cater for short term or emergency finance to fund delayed government expected cash receipt of physical deficit.
“The ways and means , balances as at 19th December 2022 is N22.7 trillion.
“I have approved the securitization of the ways and means balances along the following terms and Amount: N23 .7 trillion, Tenure 40 years, Moratorium on principal repayment, three years, Pricing interest rate 9%.
“Your concurrence and approval are sought to allow for the implementation of same.”
The Debt Management Office, DMO, had raised alarm that if the N22.7 trillion Ways and Means are securitized by the National Assembly as being requested by President Buhari, Nigeria’s total debt will be at N77 trillion.