The Senate has approved the restructuring of the controversial N22.719 trillion naira ways and means advances, ostensibly to ensure that the government does not shut down.
The upper chamber gave the approval during Wednesday’s plenary session after considering a report from its ad hoc committee, which noted that the federal government repeatedly borrowed from the central bank of Nigeria in the process exceeding the five per cent threshold of the previous year’s revenue as stipulated by the CBN Act.
President Buhari’s request for the National Assembly to restructure the sum of n22.719 trillion naira ways and means advances were met with suspicion and opposition by federal lawmakers in the Senate.
In his letter to the Senate, which was read on the floor on December 21, 2022, explained that the ways and means of advances given to the Federal Government by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) are for emergency funding of delayed receipt of fiscal deficit.
However, some senators were opposed to approving the overdraft explaining that it contravened the constitution and the CBN Act.
Leading the Senate in the debate for the approval of the Ways and Means on Wednesday, the Senate Leader, Ibrahim Gobir, explained that part of the money was given as loans to states.
He explained that the Special Committee was set up by the Red Chamber to scrutinise the fiscal document, put up the report after critical analysis and review of submissions made by the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget, and National Planning; and the CBN.