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Senate To Summon Emefiele Over N30trn ‘Ways And Means’ | Citizen NewsNG

ByCitizen NewsNG

Mar 19, 2024

 

By Saawua Terzungwe

 

The Senate has said it would invite a former governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, over the N30 trillion ‘Ways and Means’ obtained under his watch by the President Muhammadu Buhari administration if the current leadership of the apex bank does not provide the needed explanations.

The chairman, Senate committee on ‘Ways and Means’ Senator Jibrin Isah (Kogi East), disclosed this when top officials of the CBN led by the deputy governor, appeared before the committee at the National Assembly in Abuja.

The Senate had inaugurated an ad-hoc committee led by Isah, to probe how the N30 trillion Ways and Means loans of the CBN was obtained and spent by the administration of President Buhari.

The committee is also saddled with the responsibility of investigating the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme under Buhari’s administration.

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Daily Trust reports that Ways and Means is a loan facility through which the CBN finances the government’s budget shortfalls.

Briefing newsmen after the meeting with the CBN top officials, Senator Isah said the committee discovered that Emefiele unilaterally gave approvals in several instances in the documents presents to the committee, saying his decision was illegal.

“The CBN made a presentation on the ‘Ways and Means’ and on the Anchor Borrowers Scheme, and we were able to extract so much information from them and that will prepare us for the next line of discussion with them. Basically, we were able to make presentations on the Ways and a means with regards to the beneficiaries of those loans.

“But we had issues, issues of approval. We discovered that the CBN governor unilaterally gave approvals and we feel that is abnormal. We asked them for explanations in that regard, they don’t have immediate explanations and I want to believe that they want to go back home, check their records and at the next meeting, they will be able to provide us with those explanation.

“We believe that every approval must be given by committee of members, the governor and the deputy, that is the standard. Where the governor Aline gives an approval, that also is confusing and that, they will provide answered to us. ”

He said if the current leadership of the CBN does not provide the needed answers, the committee would summon Emefiele.

He said, “Where it is absolutely necessary, we will not hesitate to invite the former CBN governor, Emefiele.”

Speaking on the discussion regarding the Anchor Borrowers Scheme, Senator Isah said, “With respect to Anchor Borrowers, the performance today on the average is impressive. About 70 percent of the loans have been settled. The rest 30 percent are loans given to low income farmers and the risk there is that, those low income farmers do not have what it takes to perform to expectations.

“They don’t have the necessary equipment, they don’t have the necessary knowhow. So that is where we are going to have possible problems of loan default.

“And we are talking about N358 billion, spread all over the country. But we have advised them that those loans were processed through commercial banks, the credit risk lies with the commercial banks. And the commercial banks should go after those borrowers to recover their monies. We told them that they should try and go into a round table discussion with those commercial banks that purportedly guaranteed those loans.

“Those loans were guaranteed by the commercial banks and those commercial banks are still in existence. The credit burden lies with the commercial banks and they know what to do because all the accounts of commercial banks are domiciled with the CBN. They may have to go to the extent of evoking the rules that we all know.”

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