The House of Representatives partially accepted President Muhammadu Buhari’s request for Ways and Means Advances from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
While the House authorized the restructuring of N1 trillion WMAs, lawmakers declined the CBN’s request for N22,719,703,774,306.90.
Ways and Means Advances is a loan facility used by the central bank to finance the government in periods of temporary budget shortfalls subject to limits imposed by law
This was based on the Joint Committees on Finance, Banking, and Currency, and Aids, Loans, and Debts Management’s recommendations, which were laid, debated and adopted by the House in plenary.
Musa Abdullahi, Deputy Chairman of the House Committee on Finance, presented the report.
The report partly read, “Based on the observations and the exigencies of the Federal Government’s current fiscal situation, the committees Recommends the following:
“(i) The approval of the requested restructuring of the N1 trillion additional Ways and Means Advances for implementation of the 2022 Supplementary Appropriations Act as passed by the National Assembly.
“(ii) Further engagement with the executive by the Joint Committee to allow for a thorough and detailed work and submissions on the larger part of the advances, which amounts to N22,719,703,774,306.90 only.”
On December 21, 2022, President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan; and Speaker of the House, Femi Gbajabiamila, read out Buhari’s request to members of the respective chambers.
In the request titled ‘Restructuring of Ways and Means Advances,’ the President wrote, “The Ways and Means Advance by the Central Bank of Nigeria to the Federal Government has been a funding option to the Federal Government to cater for short-term or emergency finance to fund delayed government expected cash receipt of fiscal deficit.
“The Ways and Means balances as of 19th December 2022, is N23,719,703,774,306.90
“I have approved the securitization of the Ways and Means balances along the following terms: amount, N23.7tn; tenure, 40 years; moratorium on principal repayment, 3 years; pricing interest rate, 9 percent.
“Your concurrence and approval are sought to allow for the implementation of the same.”
Consideration of the presidential was stalled at the Senate as the proposal met stiff opposition in the chamber.
President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, after meeting with Buhari, had said the lawmakers would reconsider the request and pass the WMAs.