Senate probes Buhari, Emefiele over N30trn loans

By Ologeh Joseph Chibu

The Senate is set to probe former President Mohammadu Buhari and Mr Godwin Emefiele over N30tn not properly accounted for.

Emefiele was the former Governor of the Central Bank, (CBN).

He is currently facing a string of corruption charges.

On Tuesday, the Senate said it would investigate the acquisition and utilization of the N30 trillion Ways and Means loans by Muhammadu Buhari from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

Ways and Means serves as a loan mechanism enabling the CBN to fund the government’s budget deficits.

The Senate emphasized concerns regarding the imprudent expenditure of the overdraft obtained from the CBN during Godwin Emefiele’s tenure, attributing a significant portion of it to the ongoing food and security crises in the country.

During the Senate session, the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Finance, Adeola Olamilekan, sought to present the report concerning the president’s request. However, Rivers senator Betty Apiafi interjected, raising a Point of Order and asserting that the president’s request lacked constitutional validity.

Drawing upon pertinent provisions from the Constitution, the CBN Act, and the Senate Standing Rules, Rivers senator George Sekibo echoed Apiafi’s concerns, contending that the request failed to align with constitutional principles.

‘’It will be a disservice that we have spent that money on behalf of Nigerians. It will be an abuse of our personal sense and against our privileges if we approve this request without details of the expenditure,’’ he insisted.

Senate Launches Fresh Probe

The Senate’s recent investigative endeavor stems from its deliberation on the report presented by its Joint Committee on Banking, Insurance, and Other Financial Institutions, Finance, National Planning, Agriculture, and Appropriation. This report, compiled after interactive sessions with the Federal Government’s economic management team, prompted the resolutions made by the Senate on Tuesday.

Lawan stated that, “All of that is in the past, we must focus on the present which is the fact that people are hungry and they are crying. That’s what we should focus on.”

Akpabio shared, “The food and security crises confronting the nation now are traceable to the way and manner the said Ways and Means were given collected and spent. Details of such spending must be submitted for required scrutiny and possible remedies because what Nigerians want is food on their table which must be given.”

He further added, “Other recommendations made by the committee on the need for a thorough investigation of the N10trillion Anchor borrowers programme, and other intervention programmes running into billions of dollars must be investigated.

“But as rightly recommended by the joint committee, security agencies should, as a matter of national urgency, combat all forms of insecurity across the country for farmers to access their farms for required food production highly needed in the country now.”

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