Nigerian govt to audit N22.7tr Ways and Means loan approved by Buhari

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The Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Wale Edun, said on Tuesday the Federal Government would audit the N22.7 trillion Ways and Means loan approved by former President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration before paying.

The minister stated this at the Public Wealth Management Conference organized by the Ministry of Finance Incorporated (MOFI) on Tuesday in Abuja.

The event was put together by MOFI to deliberate on ways of managing the nation’s assets and resources for the overall well-being of Nigerians.

It was attended by Vice President Kashim Shettima, the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Doris Uzoka-Anite, Minister of Agriculture, Abubakar Kyari; and the Governor of Cross Rivers State, Bassey Otu.

Also at the forum were World Bank representatives as well as members of the private sector and the diplomatic corps.

The Ways and Means allows the government to borrow from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) if it needs short-term or emergency finance to fund delayed government expected cash receipts.

The Senate in May last year approved the former president’s request to restructure the N22.7 trillion loans the CBN extended to the federal government under its Ways and Means provision.

Speaking on the matter, Edun said: “We have to stem liquidity. The Central Bank has led the way in pointing out that the ways and means have to be tailed down and eliminated and that is what we agree with.

“We are going in that direction, there was an inherited amount of N22.7 trillion in backlogs. We are auditing it and it is like when I am ready to pay a loan from a bank and I ask for an audit before finding the agreed sum to pay.

“But apart from that, how do you get your ways and means down? We have to get revenues up and expenditure reduced as much as possible.”

By: Babajide Okeowo

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