On Tuesday, the House of Representatives partially accepted the President’s request for Ways and Means Advances from the Central Bank of Nigeria, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.).
While the House authorized the restructuring of N1 trillion WMAs, legislators declined the CBN’s request for N22,719,703,774,306.90. This was based on the recommendations of the House’s Joint Committees on Finance, Banking and Currency, and Aids, Loans, and Debt Management, which were tabled, reviewed, and accepted in plenary. Musa Abdullahi, Deputy Chairman of the House Committee on Finance, presented the report.
The report partly read, “Based on the observations and the exigencies of the Federal Government current fiscal situation, the committees Recommends the following:
“(i) The approval of the requested restructuring of the N1 trillion additional Ways and Means Advances for implementation of the 2022 Supplementary Appropriations Act as passed by the National Assembly.
“(ii) Further engagement with the executive by the Joint Committee to allow for a thorough and detailed work and submissions on the larger part of the advances, which amounts to N22,719,703,774,306.90 only.”
On December 21, 2022, President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan; and Speaker of the House, Femi Gbajabiamila, read out Buhari’s request to members of the respective chambers.
In the request titled ‘Restructuring of Ways and Means Advances,’ the President wrote, “The Ways and Means Advances by the Central Bank of Nigeria to the Federal Government has been a funding option to the Federal Government to cater for short-term or emergency finance to fund delayed government expected cash receipt of fiscal deficit.
“The Ways and Means balances as of 19th December, 2022, is N23,719,703,774,306.90
“I have approved the securitisation of the Ways and Means balances along the following terms: amount, N23.7tn; tenure, 40 years; moratorium on principal repayment, 3 years; pricing interest rate, 9 per cent.
“Your concurrence and approval is sought to allow for the implementation of the same.”
Consideration of the presidential was stalled at the Senate as the proposal met stiff opposition in the chamber.
President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, after meeting with Buhari, had said the lawmakers would reconsider the request and pass the WMAs.