FG to audit N22.7trn Ways & Means loan

The Federal Government has initiated moves to audit the N22.7 trillion Ways and Means loan approved by the immediate past administration of former President Muhammadu Buhari.

This was disclosed by the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Wale Edun, on Tuesday, at the Public Wealth Management Conference in Abuja, where he explained that the details would be released soon.

The event was organised by the Ministry of Finance Incorporated (MOFI) to seek ways of managing the nation’s assets and resources for the overall wellbeing of the people.

Also in attendance at the event is 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 event were World Bank representatives as well as members of the private sector and the diplomatic corps.

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 doing in that direction, there was an inherited amount of N22.7trn 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.”

Meanwhile, Edun stated that President Bola Tinubu’s administration inherited a surge in food and general commodity prices from the previous government.

He, however, emphasized the government’s commitment to bringing down food prices and tackling the nation’s high inflation rate.

The minister said that the Federal Government was not unaware of the sufferings of Nigerians as measures have been put in place to alleviate their sufferings.

The interventions, according to him, include the release of 42,000 metric tons of grains and another 60,000 metric tons expected to be released soon.

Recall that in May 2023, shortly before the end of the Buhari government, the Senate approved the request of the then President to restructure the N22.7 trillion loans the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) extended to the Federal Government under its Ways and Means provision.

The Ways and Means provision 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.

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