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Senate inaugurates Ad-hoc Committee to Probe CBN’s N30trn Loan and Anchor Borrowers’ Programme

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The Nigerian Senate inaugurated an ad hoc committee on Monday to investigate the use of the N30 trillion Ways and Means loans obtained by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) during President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration. The committee, led by Senate President Godswill Akpabio, will also scrutinise the implementation of the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme.

This development follows a comprehensive report by joint committees on banking, insurance, and other financial institutions; finance; national planning; agriculture; and appropriations. The report was presented after interacting with the federal government’s economic management team.

The Senate’s decision to probe further into the Ways and Means and Anchor Borrowers’ Programme arose from concerns about allocating funds to state governments, manufacturers, aviation, banks, and excess funding in the power sector. These allocations have contributed to the country’s current debt profile.

During a previous debate in early February, Senator Adamu Aliero highlighted instances where state governors, including some senators, benefited from N18 billion as shock absorbers under the Ways and Means since 2015. This debate prompted calls for a special committee to scrutinise the N30 trillion intervention disbursements, including grants, and devise strategies to manage them.

Senator Isah Jibrin, representing Kogi East, chaired the ad hoc committee and emphasised his commitment to a thorough investigation within the stipulated six weeks. Senate President Akpabio urged committee members to approach their responsibilities impartially and engage with stakeholders while maintaining communication with the executive and the public.

At the inauguration, key figures such as the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Wale Edun; CBN Governor, Olayemi Cardoso; Accountant General of the Federation, Oluwatoyin Madein; Auditor-General of the Federation, Shaakaa Chira; and Director General of Debt Management Office (DMO), Patience Oniha, were present.

The committee is expected to collaborate with various stakeholders to ensure a comprehensive and unbiased investigation into the use of the substantial funds in question.

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