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N’Assembly set to approve N23.7tn debt restructuring request on Tuesday

The Senate is ready to approve the N23.7 trillion debt restructuring request made by President Muhammadu Buhari in December of last year, according to Senate President Ahmad Lawan.

The Senate also accused the Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, and the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, of delaying the delivery of the requisite paperwork providing information on the Ways and Means Advances in order to prevent the request from being approved.

The lawmakers led by the Rivers West senator, Betty Apiafi, had vehemently opposed the passage of the ‘securitisation’  of the advances collected from the Central Bank of Nigeria within the last ten years in addition to N1tn to be collected as fresh domestic loan.”

The Senators alleged that both the President and the CBN governor had breached both the Constitution.

Buhari had urged the legislature to approve the request, noting that failure to pass the document would cost the government about N1.8tn in additional interest payment in 2023.

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On Tuesday, however, Lawan asked the executive arm of government to provide the details of the N22.7tn Ways and Means restructuring request.

It specifically ordered Ahmed and Emefiele to supply the required information within three days.

He said the Senate was ready to approve the request after thorough scrutiny which could only be done if required details were provided by relevant officials from the executive arm of government.

He said, “We must have the necessary information for passage of the N22.7tn request and time is not on our side in the Senate now in view of coming general elections.

“ If there is a need for the Senate to sit up to Friday this week for thorough consideration and passage of the request, it will be done but the affected officials from the executive must also expedite action on the provision of the required information as regards documents authorising approval and disbursement of the monies totaling N22.7trillion”, he said.