The Senate is prepared to adopt the N23.7 trillion debt restructuring proposal 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 legislators, led by Senator Betty Apiafi of Rivers West, had passionately opposed the ratification of the “securitization” of the loans that had been obtained from the Central Bank of Nigeria during the previous 10 years in addition to the N1 trillion that was to be obtained as new domestic debt.
The President and the CBN governor, according to the senators, both violated the Constitution.
Buhari had asked the lawmakers to grant the proposal, pointing out that failing to do so will result in the government paying an additional N1.8 trillion in interest in 2023.
But on Tuesday, Lawan requested information on the N22.7 trillion Ways and Means restructuring request from the executive branch of the government.
Ahmed and Emefiele were particularly instructed to provide the needed information within three days.
He said that the Senate was prepared to approve the proposal following careful review, which could only take place if pertinent representatives from the executive branch of government submitted the necessary information.
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.