Senate tasks executive on speedy passage of N23.7trn Ways & Means 

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The Senate Tuesday sounded serious note of warning to officials of executive arm of government needed for required details on passage of  N23.7trillion Ways and Means restructuring forwarded to it by President Muhammadu Buhari in December last year.

It specifically ordered the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed and Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria ( CBN) , Godwin Emefiele, to within three days, supply required information on the presidential request to the special committee set up for that purpose last year .

The red chamber warned that in view of Presidential and National Assembly elections coming up next month, it will adjourned plenary this week or latest by Tuesday next week for practical participation in campaigns.

Senate ‘s warning followed request  made by its Leader, Senator Ibrahim Gobir (APC Sokoto East) who is the Chairman of the Special Committee set up to interface with the Finance Minister and CBN Governor for details on the N27.3trillion Ways and Means Restructuring, for additional three days.

Gobir, who rose through Order 40 of the Senate Standing Rules under personal explanation, told the Senate that series of attempts made by the Committee from 28th December, 2022 to Tuesday, 17th January, 2023, to meet the Finance Minister and CBN Governor for the required details proved abortive.

He said: “As a special committee for urgent and thorough assignment, we hit the ground running immediately after composition on 28th of December last year.

“For required details on the N22.7 trillion Ways and Means Restructuring, six vital questions were raised, five for the CBN governor and one for the Finance Minister  but their trips abroad prevented us from asking them the questions. 

“Now that they are around, we request the Senate to give us additional three days for thorough work on the assignment and submission of report,” he said.

Irked by the submission, the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan in his response said the Ways and Means request from the President  is a very serious issue  that must not be taken with levity by all those concerned.

The Senate, he declared, is ready to approve the request after thorough scrutiny which can only be done if required details are provided by relevant officials from the executive arm of government. 

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