Senate Calls CBN Officials for Inquiry on N30 Trillion Loans

Senate Calls CBN Officials for Inquiry on N30 Trillion Loans

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The Senate has announced plans to question officials from the Central Bank of Nigeria regarding the acquisition and utilization of the N30 trillion Ways and Means loan by the Federal Government during the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.

Senator Isah Jibrin, the Chairman of the Senate Ad-hoc Committee responsible for the probe, disclosed this in an exclusive interview with The PUNCH, stating that the investigation would commence this week.

The Senate appointed Jibrin as the committee chair to investigate the N30 trillion Ways and Means loan disbursed by the then CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, to the Buhari administration.

The ‘Ways and Means’ loan is an overdraft obtained directly from the central bank to address budget deficits or national emergency needs, usually with executive approval and subsequent parliamentary ratification.

Last week, the Senate resolved to investigate the alleged reckless spending of the overdraft from the CBN, citing its contribution to the current food and security crises in the country.

Echocho, as Senator Jibrin is also known, mentioned that the panel had already initiated preliminary checks based on available documents. In an interview on Thursday, he stated, “We anticipate commencing the investigation at the committee level next week, but as the chair, I am not waiting for that. I possess certain documents and intend to request information from the CBN on specific areas.”

He further explained the need to seek clarification from the CBN officials who were involved under Emefiele’s tenure, highlighting the terms of reference for the inquiry.

“We want to identify the agencies and individuals who benefited from these loans and understand the terms and conditions, including collateral requirements and repayment schedules. This is not a witch-hunt; it’s about transparency and accountability,” Senator Jibrin emphasized.

He also underscored the importance of understanding the decisions made regarding the loans and their impact on the economy to guide future policymaking.

As the inquiry progresses, it remains uncertain whether Emefiele will be summoned by the committee for further questioning.

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