Senate Reaffirms Ongoing Investigation into N30 Trillion Ways and Means Facility

The Senate, through its Ad-hoc Committee, has reaffirmed that the investigation into the N30 trillion Ways and Means facility utilized by the Buhari administration from 2015 to 2023 is progressing as planned. The announcement came on Monday amid reports suggesting the probe was at a standstill.

Senate Reaffirms Ongoing Investigation into N30 Trillion Ways and Means Facility
Senate Reaffirms Ongoing Investigation into N30 Trillion Ways and Means Facility

Senator Isah Jibrin (APC, Kogi East), Chairman of the Committee, issued a statement refuting an online report claiming that the investigation had stalled. Senator Jibrin, who also chairs the Senate Committee on Customs and Excise Duties, emphasized that thoroughness and diligence in such a sensitive national assignment necessitate extended timeframes.

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“The essence of an investigation is to come up with factual findings and not just roll in a report within a specified time frame,” Jibrin stated. “Investigation on the N30 trillion Ways and Means is on course and not in any way in limbo as insinuated by an online platform today.”

The Ad-hoc Committee, inaugurated in March with an initial six-week mandate, has extended its timeline to ensure comprehensive findings. To bolster the investigative process, Jibrin highlighted a recent reminder sent to the Accountant General of the Federation (AGF), requesting critical information for the probe.

The letter, dated June 19, 2024, and signed by Senator Jibrin, was titled “Request for Submission of Additional Information.” It sought detailed data on disbursements under the Ways and Means facility, including beneficiaries, amounts, dates, purposes, terms, and adherence to repayment schedules.

Ways and Means is a loan facility through which the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) finances federal budget shortfalls. This practice often results in macroeconomic instability, such as inflation and high exchange rates, due to excess liquidity. Although the CBN law limits such advances to 5% of the previous year’s revenue, this cap has frequently been breached.

To address these issues, CBN Governor Olayemi Cardoso announced in February that the bank would cease granting Ways and Means advances until all outstanding debts are repaid.

The Senate’s ongoing investigation aims to provide a thorough and factual account of the facility’s use, ensuring transparency and accountability in government financial practices.

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