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Senate Announces Probe into CBN's Anchor Borrowers' Scheme and Ways and Means Operations

Senate Resolves to Investigate N10 Trillion Anchor Borrowers’ Programme and Ways and Means Loans by CBN

The Senate has decided to launch a further investigation into the N10 trillion Anchor Borrowers’ Programme managed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), as well as the accountability of the apex bank in its Ways and Means loans. This decision aims to close loopholes in future development finance activities of the CBN.

A special ad hoc committee will be established to probe the details of the Ways and Means loans, including various intervention programs such as the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme, funds allocated to state governments, manufacturers, aviation, banks, excess funding in the power sector, among others, which have contributed to the current debt profile of the country.

These resolutions were reached after a thorough debate over the report of the National Assembly Joint Committees on Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions (BIOFI), Finance, National Planning, Agriculture, and Appropriation on the state of the economy.

In terms of compliance and transparency in economic actions, the Senate also resolved that the CBN must ensure adherence to the provisions of the Act concerning Ways and Means and accountability by promptly submitting its budget, financial statements, and activity reports to the President and National Assembly, as mandated by the Act.

During the debate, Senator Adamu Aliero highlighted that some state governors, including some retired ones in the Senate, have benefited from N18 billion as a shock absorber under the Ways and Means since 2015.

Several lawmakers suggested the establishment of a special committee to scrutinize the N30 trillion intervention disbursements, some of which were in the form of grants, and find ways to recover them.

Deputy Senate President Barau Jibrin emphasized that the intervention funds were spent outside the budget without parliamentary approval, underscoring the need for lawmakers to investigate these expenditures.

Senator Victor Umeh raised questions about the spending of the funds before approval by the Senate, prompting a debate on whether or not to investigate the matter further.

Senate President Godswill Akpabio concluded that due to the current economic situation, it is imperative to thoroughly examine the Ways and Means funds.

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