Senate Inaugurates Committe To Probe Mismanagement Of N30trn Ways & Means, Anchor Borrowers’ Funds

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The Senate has inaugurated a 17-member ad-hoc Committee to probe the mismanagement of a whooping N30 trillion ‘Ways and Means’, which was released as a loan by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to the Federal Government during the immediate past President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.

Also among the terms of reference for the Committee is to probe into the management of funds for the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme under the Buhari-led government.

Charging the Committee on Monday in Abuja, the President of the Senate, Senator Godswill Akpabio told the Committee it must not leave any stone unturned, but should go after everyone involved in the spending of the whooping sum delivered by the CBN to the immediate past government in the last 10 years.

Akpabio charged the Committee to spend six weeks carrying out the exercise, mentioning that by working harmoniously, “we can ensure that the Ways and Means in Nigeria are managed prudently, efficiently, and in accordance with the law.”

The President of the Senate enjoined members of the committee while carrying out a holistic investigation into the matter, should set aside personal and partisan interests, but should focus on the task at hand and approach their responsibilities with utmost balance, devotion and impartiality.

Akpabio reminded them to constantly engage with relevant stakeholders and consultants to provide necessary insights, while maintaining open lines of communication with the executive and the public.

He, however, cautioned them from disclosing any aspect of the report until the task is concluded.

The Committee is chaired by Senator Jibrin Isah, APC, Kogi East. It also has Senators Asuquo Ekpenyong, APC, Cross River South; Mohammed Tahir Monguno, APC, Borno North; Victor Umeh, LP, Anambra Central and Olamilekan Adeola, APC, Ogun West as members.

Others are Senators Sani Musa, APC, Niger East; Aliyu Wadada, SDP, Nasarawa; Abdul Ningi, PDP, Bauchi Central and Ipalibo Banigo Harry, PDP, Rivers West.

Akpabio said, “Today, we gather here with a common purpose – to inaugurate a crucial Ad-Hoc Committee. This committee, which was constituted following the report of the Joint Committees on Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions; Finance; National Planning; Agriculture; and Appropriations after interacting with the Federal Government’s Economic Management Team, holds great significance as it is charged with the investigation of the ways and means, including the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme.

“The constitution of this committee is a testament to the Senate’s unwavering commitment to transparency, accountability, and good governance. it reflects our dedication to addressing the concerns of the Nigerian people and upholding the principles of democracy.

“To the members of this esteemed committee, I implore you to approach your responsibilities with the utmost sense of patriotism, professionalism and integrity. Your investigation demands impartiality and fairness, always keeping the public interest and the welfare of our nation at the forefront. We must leave no stone unturned in our pursuit of the truth. Therefore, conduct thorough inquiries and dig out information that will assist the Senate in making laws for the betterment of our country.

“The success of this Ad-Hoc committee hinges on collaboration, cooperation, and a steadfast commitment to the common good. Let us set aside personal and partisan interests, focusing solely on the task at hand. By working harmoniously, we can ensure that the Ways and Means in Nigeria are managed prudently, efficiently, and in accordance with the law.

“Moreover, confidentiality is paramount to your work. The information and data we gather during our investigations are sensitive and must be handled with the utmost care and discretion. Adhering to strict protocols will ensure the security and integrity of the information you uncover.

“In carrying out your mandate, it is imperative that you engage with relevant stakeholders, experts, and organizations. Their valuable insights and perspectives will strengthen the credibility and comprehensiveness of your findings and recommendations. I urge you to remain open to constructive inputs and feedback, harnessing the knowledge and expertise of others to achieve your collective goal.

“As you embark on this vital mission, please maintain open lines of communication with the public. The Nigerian people must be kept informed of your progress and findings, as their trust and confidence in your work are of utmost importance. You must demonstrate your dedication to serving our nation with distinction and honor.

”I urge you to remember the gravity of the task before you. The future of our nation rests upon your shoulders, and you must approach this task with grave seriousness and determination. Guided by the principles of justice, fairness, and the common good, work tirelessly to ensure the responsible management of Ways and Means in Nigeria.

“I extend my heartfelt gratitude to each member of this committee for accepting the responsibility to serve our nation in this capacity. Your dedication and commitment to this cause are truly admirable, and I have complete confidence in your ability to execute your duties with excellence.

“I wish you every success in this endeavor, and I offer my total support in the pursuit of our objectives in setting up this committee. Together, let us uphold the values of transparency, integrity, and accountability as we work towards the responsible management of Ways and Means in Nigeria.”

The ‘Ways and Means’ is an overdraft taken directly from the Central Bank of Nigeria to solve contingency needs of the nation following approval and directive of the executive arm of government which would have to be ratified by the parliament.

They are loans or advances by the CBN to the Federal Government to enable it to cater for short-term or emergency finance to fund delayed government expected cash receipt of fiscal deficits.

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