Nigeria Senate has rejected President Muhammadu Buhari’s request to restructure the N22.7tn ways and means advances collected by the Federal Government from the Central Bank of Nigeria.
Gatekeepers News reports that the lawmakers rejected the request after an uproar in the upper chamber over the issue on Wednesday.
Buhari had in a letter read on the floor of the Senate on Wednesday last week sought for restructuring of the N22.7tn ways and means advances collected from CBN within the last ten years in addition to N1tn to be collected as fresh domestic loan.
The President in the letter, said ways and means were advances from the Central Bank of Nigeria to the Federal Government for emergency funding of delayed receipt of fiscal deficits.
However, there was an uproar when the Chairman of the Committee, Solomon Adeola (APC Lagos West), was called upon to present a report on it.
Some members of the Senate were quick to raise objections as the Senate leadership attempted to get the report of its finance committee, which had recommended that the president’s request be granted.
Senator Betty Apiafi (PDP, Rivers), was the first to rise against it through the constitutional point of order, saying ways and means of expenditure are not known to the Nigerian constitution.
Apiafi was, however, ruled out of order by the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, for allowing the report to be presented before kicking against it.
While Senator Adeola presented the report, some of the senators expressed their opposition to the report by grumbling.
Similarly, Senator George Sekibo, (APC, Rivers State) raised a constitutional point of order to state why the ‘ways and means’ advances were illegal and unconstitutional.
Sekibo informed the upper legislative chamber that the action of the President was also in breach of the CBN Act, the Senate standing rules, just as it attacked the privileges of the Senate and National Assembly.
Although the Senate President attempted severally to get his fellow lawmakers to accede to the president’s request, it failed because of the depth of information and argument adduced by Sekibo.
Senator Sekibo cited sections 80, 83, Section1,13(1) of the 1999 Constitution, and section 38 of the CBN Act while kicking against the request.