Wednesday's plenary session was a rowdy one as President Muhammadu Buhari's request for the lawmakers to approve Ways and Means Advances restructuring to the tune of N23.7 trillion divided the lawmakers.
Per reports, Buhari's request to members of the respective chambers was read out by Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila.
Titled ‘Restructuring of Ways and Means Advances', the request by the president reads: "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 balance as of 19th December 2022, is N23,719,703,774,306.90.
“I have approved the securitisation of the Ways and Means balances along the following terms: amount, N23.7tn; tenure, 40 years; moratorium on principal repayment, three years; pricing interest rate, nine per cent.”
The uproar started when the chairman of the Senate Committee on Finance, Senator Solomon Adeola, was reporting the committee’s finding on the Ways and Means.
She was reportedly cut short by the lawmaker representing Rivers West, Senator Betty Apiafi, who countered her, leading to the Senate President shouting her down.
The above led to a dramatic session as the senators became engaged in a shouting match.
A motion was subsequently raised by some lawmakers, including Senator Smart Adeyemi (APC, Kogi West), and George Sekibo (PDP Rivers) in support of Apiafi that the Senate President had no power to shout down a senator while speaking.
The situation could not be put under control and Lawan had to call for a closed-door session.
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