We’re considering Buhari’s request to approve N23.7trn extra-budgetary spending – Lawan

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Senate President Ahmad Lawan says the national assembly is already considering a request by President Muhammadu Buhari to approve the N23.7 trillion spent without the greenlight of the legislature.

 

Buhari had asked the national assembly to approve the sum, which he said were funds provided by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) through loans for “emergencies” in the space of 10 years.

 

Last week, the senate suspended the request after a rowdy session.

 

Speaking with reporters in Abuja on Tuesday after the signing ceremony of the 2023 budget, Lawan said the assembly is insisting on getting the requisite documents that would enable it to approve the Buhari’s request.

 

 “We are already considering that but let me tell you where the problem is,” Lawan said.

 

“While we are trying to consider and pass the request. We will insist on getting the right documents for our committees to ensure that whatever they advise us to do in the two chambers is based on information and knowledge and not just passing ‘ways and means’ without knowing what it is.”

 

Lawan said though the ninth national assembly has not done all that it desired to do, it has passed the medium-term expenditure framework and fiscal strategy paper (MTEF/FSP) and budgets in record time.

 

 “We haven’t done as we would have wished to do but I think at the risk of sounding immodest, the ninth national assembly has passed the MTEF and FSP at normal time, passed the appropriation bill, passed the finance bill. And of course, we are very glad that we have been able to do that.

 

“Nigeria faces challenges of revenue and this is going to be our focus.

 

“This is going to be what the national assembly, both chambers, will ensure that we get revenues, we find more sources, better sources, stabilise resources and of course, look into some of the legislations and some of the waivers and concessions granted, to see whether or not they deserve to continue to be implemented in a manner they were approved.”

 

Meanwhile, at the signing ceremony, Buhari said it would cost the federal government N1.8 trillion in interest, if the national assembly fails to approve the aforementioned sum.

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