N30 Trillion Ways and Means Unveiled: Nigerian Senate Launches Probe into Controversial Loans and Financial Mysteries

In a significant move, the Nigerian Senate has initiated an investigation into the disbursal of N30 trillion under the Ways and Means by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) during former President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration. Spearheading the inquiry is Senator Jibrin Isah, appointed as the Chairman of the ad-hoc committee tasked with unraveling the details of the loan’s allocation.

The committee, comprising distinguished members including Senator Ekpeyong Asuquo, Senator Mohammed Tahir Monguno, Senator Victor Umeh, Senator Olamilekan Adeola, Senator Sani Musa, Senator Aliyu Wadada, Senator Abdul Ningi, Senator Ipalibo Banigo, and Senator Banigo Harry, has been granted four weeks to submit their comprehensive report. This report will pave the way for legislative deliberations on the utilization of the substantial financial aid provided during the former administration.

This investigative initiative follows a resolution adopted last Tuesday, emphasizing the imperative need to scrutinize the spending associated with Ways and Means during the previous government’s tenure. Ways and Means, constituting an overdraft from the CBN, is utilized to address urgent financial needs, subject to executive approval and parliamentary ratification.

Simultaneously, the Senate has also commenced an inquiry into the affairs of Ajaokuta Steel Company Limited and the National Ore Mining Company (NIOMCO) in Kogi State spanning from 2008 to the present. A particular focus is placed on the payment of $496 million allegedly made to Mr. Pramod Mittal, Chairman of Global Infrastructure Holdings Ltd (GINL), by the Nigerian government in September 2022 as a settlement over contractual disputes.

The overarching investigation seeks to shed light on the circumstances surrounding the re-concession of NIOMCO, even after the termination of the initial Concession Agreement by the administration of former President Musa Yar’adua, with a positive review by the International Chamber of Commerce, London. Senator Natasha Akpoti-Uduaghan, representing Kogi Central Senatorial District, sponsored the motion prompting this inquiry.

Last week, a Senate debate on Ways and Means sparked a tumultuous session in the chamber, as Senator Ali Ndume insisted on the provision of detailed information in accordance with parliamentary rules. As the investigation unfolds, it promises to unravel financial mysteries and shed light on the utilization of substantial funds during a critical period in Nigeria’s economic history.

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Patrick Odey

Patrick Odey, a native of Benin, Edo State. He studied the English Language at the University of Benin, Edo State. He is a Blogger Contact: [email protected]

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