The Senate has said it will quiz some officials of the Central Bank of Nigeria on how the N30tn Ways and Means loan was obtained and spent by the Federal Government during the Muhammadu Buhari-led administration.

In an exclusive interview with The PUNCH, Senate Ad-hoc Committee Chairman Senator Isah Jibrin disclosed that the panel would start the investigation this week.

On Tuesday, the Senate named Jibrin as the head of the committee tasked with investigating the N30 trillion Ways and Means loan that the Buhari administration received from the then-CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele.

In order to cover budget deficits or meet emergency needs for the country, the “Ways and Means” overdraft is obtained directly from the central bank.

Usually, the parliament is supposed to ratify this after it has been approved by the executive branch of government.Due to the country’s current food and security crises, the Senate last week Tuesday decided to look into the N30 trillion facility.

They claimed that the country’s overdraft from the CBN had been spent recklessly.After stating that the National Assembly had not been given access to the specifics of the fund’s use, the red chamber decided to form an Ad hoc committee to look into its usage.

Yet the panel’s chairman, also referred to as Echocho, stated that the investigation had begun because of certain records the panel had.As the chairman, I am not waiting for the committee investigation to conclude next week, he stated on Thursday. I have some documents; I want to write to CBN to provide me with information on some areas.

Ways and means encompass a great deal of territory, so with the knowledge I currently possess, I will write to ask for clarifications on a few points before the committee meets.

He continued, saying that in December 2022, near the conclusion of the ninth Senate, the Ways and Means loan was also discussed.The senator went on, “I want to use the documents I have as leverage by going through them and asking the CBN questions in order to get further clarifications. The CBN officials who worked under Emefiele—who is no longer there—will then be invited.

“They need to come explain to us because they were involved in it. The terms of reference are extremely basic.The money was distributed.

We are interested in learning which organizations profited from those funds.Additionally, we would like to know which specific Nigerians profited. We are interested in the terms and conditions.

The CBN is not Santa Claus. We would like to know who the recipients of those loans are since they are loans.”What are those loans’ terms and conditions? What kind of collateral has been gathered in case of default? Have they received payment? What are the terms for repayment? Do we have collateral in case of default? We are not witch-hunting anyone, so those are the problems.

“This country belongs to all of us, and we want to know what really happened because those reckless exercises put us in this position today,” he continued.Since we have economists on staff, I want to think that when you make a decision as an economist, you should be able to determine how it might affect the greater community.

If not, I will label it reckless.”I am pleased that the Monetary Policy Committee has been assembled because you can either modify or withdraw. As the MPC is where policy decisions are made, you are aware of how important its makeup is. You should examine it; given this variable and an XYZ economic situation, what should you do?

“How can some of those variables be adjusted to improve society as a whole? Because of this, we wish to piece together everything that happened—not to persecute individuals, but to determine the degree to which advancements in methods and means have been made—so that further decisions can be made.

It is unclear if, as the investigation progresses, the committee will also call Emefiele at some point.

18 thought on “Sen. Calls CBN Officials to Account for N30 trillion in Loans”
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