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Senate To Probe CBN’s Anchor Borrowers, Ways And Means

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The Senate on Tuesday, resolved to further investigate N10trn Anchor Borrowers’ Programme by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), as well as accountability in the Ways and Means loans by the Apex Bank.

The Red Chamber said the move was to plug loopholes in future development finance activities of the CBN.

The Senate resolved to set up an ad hoc committee to investigate the details of the Ways and Means, including the various intervention programmes such as the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme, monies given to state governments, manufacturers, aviation, banks, excess funding in the power sector, amongst others which raised the current debt profile of the country.

This was part of resolutions of the Senate after a debate over the report of the National Assembly Joint Committees on Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions (BIOFI), Finance, National Planning, Agriculture and Appropriation on the state of the economy.

On the compliance and transparency of economic actions, the Senate equally resolved that the CBN ensured compliance with the provisions of the Act in respect of Ways and Means and accountability through timely submission of its budget, financial statements and report of its activities to the President and National Assembly as stipulated in the Act.

In an extensive debate, Senator Adamu Aliero argued that some state governors, including some retired ones in the Senate, were beneficiaries of N18bn as shock absorbers under the Ways and Means since 2015.

Some lawmakers suggested that a special committee be set up to scrutinize the N30trn intervention disbursements (some of which were grants) and ways to mop them up.

Deputy Senate President Barau Jibrin also explained that the intervention monies were expended outside appropriation without the knowledge of the parliament and noted that lawmakers have a right to interrogate the expenditure.

Senator Victor Umeh, however, deferred, as he enquired to know how the money was spent before approval by the Senate. The issue of whether or not to investigate the matter raised another furore in the Red Chamber.

Senate President Godswill Akpabio thereafter maintained that owing to the current economic situation, it has become expedient to thoroughly examine the Ways and Means funds.

Business & Economy

Kaduna refinery will begin production in December – NNPCL Boss, Kyari

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The Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited, NNPCL,Mele Kyari has disclosed that the refinery in Kaduna State will be ready for production by December 2024.

He disclosed this during a meeting with the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria and the Major Energy Marketers Association of Nigeria in Abuja.

He disclosed that operations at the Port Harcourt refinery are scheduled to begin in two weeks.

According to Kyari: “We did a mechanical completion of the (Port Harcourt) refinery, that was what we said in December. We now have crude oil already stocked in the refinery. We are doing regulatory compliance tests that must happen in every refinery before you start it, and I assure you that this Port Harcourt refinery will start in the next two weeks.

“Completing the mechanical work means that you are done with the rehabilitation work, now you have to test to see how it works. Of course, we have also completed the mechanical work on the Warri refinery.

“It is also undergoing regulatory compliance; processes that we are doing with our regulator, and this will soon be completed and it will be ready.

“The Kaduna refinery will be ready by December. We have not reached that stage in Kaduna, but we promise Kaduna will be delivered by December.”

 

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Edun Blames Economic Hardship On Free Printing Of Naira During Buhari’s Govt

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Minister of Finance, Wale Edun, stated this on Wednesday when he appeared before the Senate Committee on Finance chaired by Senator Sani Musa.

The Federal Government has disclosed that the free printing of naira notes for eight years, under the previous administration went into the hands of a privileged few, without corresponding productivity, resulting in the country’s current economic situation.

Minister of Finance, Wale Edun, stated this on Wednesday when he appeared before the Senate Committee on Finance chaired by Senator Sani Musa.

While elaborating on measures to revamp the economy, the Finance minister vowed to thoroughly audit the 22.7 trillion naira, and mop up the monies from the market and use it to pay the central bank to give the government a balanced book.

Responding to questions, the finance minister addressed the issue of waivers on customs duty running into trillions of naira, promising to overhaul the system, rejig it and implement a technology and payment system that would correct all anomalies in place.

He further disclosed that a total of 13 trillion naira was collected as non-oil revenue in 2023.

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Harsh Economy: FG To Begin Distribution Of Grains Nationwide 

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The Federal Government will begin the distribution of grains nationwide to cushion the impacts of the hardship in Nigeria.

Minister of Agriculture and Food Security Senator Abubakar Kyari disclosed this on Monday.

“Dear Fellow Nigerians,” he wrote on his official X handle. “In these trying times, I extend my sincere compassion to those affected by the hardships in the country. I understand the gravity of the situation, especially with the unfortunate event of foodstuff warehouse looting.

“Amidst these challenges, I want to assure you that our commitment to your well-being remains resolute. We shall commence the distribution of 42,000 metric tons of grains, as approved by Mr. President, across the 36 states of the federation as one of the programs to be rolled out this week.

“We are working hand in hand with NEMA and the DSS to ensure that the grains get to the right people in the right packages and quantities. Furthermore, 58,500 metric tons of milled rice from mega rice millers will also be released into the market for stabilization.”

The minister who hailed the resilience of the Nigerian people, urged them to back President Bola Tinubu’s government in its quest to address the challenges facing the country.

“I acknowledge the strength of the Nigerian people, and it is this resilience that will guide us through these difficult times. Let us stand together to support Mr. President in his strive for a better Nigeria,” Kyari said.

“Our government under the leadership of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu is committed to addressing these challenges and working towards a more secure and prosperous future for all.”

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