Buhari’s Request for a N22 Trillion Loan Restructuring Under Consideration – House


The proposal by the President to securitize the outstanding Ways and Means balance at the Central Bank of Nigeria is now being reviewed by the National Assembly (NASS), according to Senate President Ahmed Lawan on Tuesday. He made this announcement shortly after President Major General Muhammadu Buhari (ret.) signed the Supplementary Appropriations Bill for 2022 and the 2023 Budget, totaling N21.83 trillion, into law.

The President, during the signing ceremony, had appealed to the legislature that consideration be given to the document and there should be a review. The Senate President emphasized that the legislature won’t act in this way unless the relevant committees have access to sufficient material.

Lawan responded to Buhari’s plea to secure the advance for Ways and Means by saying: “we are already considering it, but let me tell you where the problem is. While we work to consider and pass the request, we will insist on getting the right documents for our committees to make sure that whatever they recommend to us in the two chambers is based on information and knowledge and not just passing ways and means without knowing what it is.”

Lawan also pointed out that in the upcoming five months, a significant amount of internal resources will need to be mobilized in order to implement the 2023 budget. The legislature will thus review all current tax exemptions and determine whether or not any recipient is eligible.

He stated that attempts will be made to raise money without increasing taxes on Nigerians. “Our responsibility is to concentrate on the upcoming five months. Despite the fact that both houses have completed nearly all of our legislative agenda, there is still work that needs to be done.

“However, revenue problems exist in Nigeria. We will concentrate on this. The National Assembly, both chambers, will do this to make sure we have revenue, find more and better sources, stabilize our resources, and, of course, examine some of the laws, waivers, and concessions that have been given to determine whether or not they should still be put into effect in the manner that they were approved. Or, since our nation needs money, we should do the opposite.

“But it doesn’t mean we should raise taxes; doing so would make matters far worse for our citizens. However, in my opinion, the National Assembly needs to focus on boosting government funding during the next five months in order to limit the deficit budget in the upcoming assembly,” he said.

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