The Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, and the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, have been given three days to provide details of the N23.7 trillion Ways and Means to the ad hoc Senate Committee probing the loan.
Both Ahmed and Emefiele were given the ultimatum after the head of the ad hoc committee, Ibrahim Gobir, on Tuesday, said efforts to meet with them provided abortive.
Recall that after President Muhammadu Buhari wrote to the National Assembly on December 21, 2022, requesting for the approval to restructure the N23.7 trillion CBN loan into bond, the Senate set up the ad hoc committee, tasking them to make findings on the Ways and Means to uncover the purpose of the credit.
However, for 21 days that the ad hoc committee tried to meet with Ahmed and Emefiele, both government officials didn’t make themselves available.
Despite President Buhari stating that the approval was one that needs urgent attention, Ahmed and Emefiele’s absence stalled the probe by the committee, as Gobir said they blamed it on foreign trips.
“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 report,” Gobir said.
Following Gobir’s request, the Senate granted the appeal and also issued summons to Ahmed, Emefiele and other agencies connected to the central bank loan.
Senate President, Ahmad 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.
“However, the affected officials from the executive must also expedite action on provision of required information as regards documents authorising approval and disbursement of the monies totalling N22.7trillion.”
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