Sat, 20 Apr 2024

 

BREAKING: Senators disagree, trade words over N29 trillion Ways and Means funds
 
By: Abara Blessing Oluchi
Tue, 20 Feb 2024   ||   Nigeria,
 

The Nigerian Senate is currently in a heated debate over the N29 trillion Ways and Means funds by the immediate past administration.

Although a debate over the funds had progressed seamlessly, trouble started when Senator Ali Ndume, representing Borno South Senatorial District, insisted that the Senate had acted illegally by allowing funds drawn from CBN, and already expended to be brought to the parliament for approval.

The ‘Ways and Means’ fund is an overdraft of funds drawn from the Central Bank of Nigeria following emergency and contingency needs of the Federal Government.

The funds having been spent would be sent to the National Assembly for approval and ratification after the funds have been expended.

However, there were disagreements when a report was submitted to the Committee of the Whole on Tuesday by Senator Abdullahi, Yahaya Abubakar-led Joint Committees on Banking, Insurance and Other Financial Institutions, Finance, National Planning, Agriculture and Appropriation.

Senator Ali Ndume cited relevant sections in the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended, noting that the Senate lacked powers to approve funds already spent.

The altercation deepened when Senator Mohammed Danjuma Goje argued that the upper legislative Chamber had the power to approve.

Ndume insisted that he was not part of the plenary which approved the Ways and Means in advance but it was required that after funds were spent, the Executive was expected to revert with details of how the funds were expended, hence.

He noted that the report presented lacked details, saying, “Mr President, I was not part of the plenary that gave the nod for Ways and Means but the detail of funds spent was not provided. This is illegal.”

Amid the rancorous debate, Senate President, Godswill Akpabio insisted that details be provided, noting that the 10th Senate would not be a rubber stamp for anyone.

Akpabio said, “We are where we are today as a result of illegal things and I think it is necessary that details of Ways and Means be provided.”

 

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