Home News Reps revisit Buhari’s request, approve N23.7tn extra-budgetary spending

Reps revisit Buhari’s request, approve N23.7tn extra-budgetary spending

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The House of Representatives, on Thursday, approved Ways and Means Advances obtained by the Federal Government from the Central Bank of Nigeria to the tune of N23,719,703,774,306.90.
The House made a U-turn on the request made by the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), since December 2022, for the National Assembly to approve the domestic borrowing from the CBN, which the lawmakers abandoned in January 2023.
The approval by the House came about 24 hours after the Senate granted the presidential request, which generated outcry, especially from the private sector.
The approvals are coming about three weeks before the end of the Buhari-led regime.
On Thursday, the Joint House Committee on Finance; Banking and Currency; and Aids, Loans and Debt Management laid its report on the request, which the lawmakers considered as a Committee of Supply and approved in plenary.
The committee recommended that the House “approve the requested additional N1tn Ways and Means Advances for the implementation of the 2022 Supplementary Appropriation Act as passed by the National Assembly” and “approve the securitisation of the total outstanding Ways and Means amount under the following terms: Amount N23,719,703,774,306.90; tenor, 40 years; moratorium on principal repayment, 3 years; pricing/interest rate, 9 per cent per annum.”
Buhari had in December 2022 transmitted to the National Assembly, a request for approval of Ways and Means Advances restructuring to the tune of N23.7tn.
President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan; and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, read out Buhari’s request to members of the respective chambers on December 21.
In the request titled ‘Restructuring of Ways and Means Advances,’ the President wrote, “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 fiscal deficit.
“The Ways and Means balances as of December 19, 2022, is N23,719,703,774,306.90
“I have approved the securitisation of the Ways and Means balances along the following terms: amount, N23.7tn; tenure, 40 years; moratorium on principal repayment, 3 years; pricing interest rate, 9 per cent.
“Your concurrence and approval is sought to allow for the implementation of the same.”
Gbajabiamila had referred the request to the House Committee on Aids, Loans and Debt Management, while Lawan sent it to the Senate Committee on Finance.
However, the House, on January 31, 2023, partly approved of the requests made by the President by approving the restructuring of N1tn WMAs and dropping the request for N22,719,703,774,306.90 from the CBN for “further engagement with the Executive by the joint committee to allow for a thorough and detailed work and submissions on the larger part of the advances.”
This was based on the recommendation by the Joint Committees on Finance; Banking and Currency; and Aids, Loans and Debts Management laid, considered and adopted by the House in plenary.

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