Senate inaugurates committee to probe Buhari’s N30 Trillion Ways and Means

Sharon EboesomiMarch 11, 20247 min

The Senate has inaugurated an ad hoc committee to conduct a thorough investigation into the 30trn Ways and Means, in response to mounting concerns over the purported spending by the previous administration. 

Senate inaugurates committee to probe alleged N30 Trillion Ways and Means

The Ad hoc Committee chaired by Senator Isah Jibrin, (APC, Kogi East) and vice-chaired by Senator Sahabi Ya’u (PDP, Zamfara North) has been tasked with unravelling the mysteries surrounding the alleged spending.

The committee is also expected to ensure accountability in the use of public funds as well as restore public trust in governance through their findings and recommendations.

Members of the committee include Senators Adamu Aliero (PDP, Kebbi Central), Tokunbo Abiru (APC, Lagos East), Aminu Iya Abbas (PDP, Adamawa Central), Asuquo Ekpenyong (APC, Cross River South); Ipalibo Banigo Harry (PDP, Rivers West); Victor Umeh (LP, Anambra Central); and Solomon Olamilekan (APC, Ogun West).

Others are Senators Sani Musa (APC, Niger East); Aliyu Wadada (SDP, Nasarawa West); Abdul Ningi (PDP, Bauchi Central); and Tahir Monguno, (APC, Borno North)

OrderPaper recalls that the Senate had resolved to constitute an ad hoc committee after it was thrown into a heated argument over the N30 trillion Ways and Means with Senator Ali Ndume (APC, Borno South) accusing the Red Chamber of acting illegally by allowing funds drawn from CBN, and already expended to be brought to the parliament for approval citing relevant sections in the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended, and accused the Senate of lacking powers to approve funds already spent.

Former President Muhammadu Buhari had asked the lawmakers in December 2022, to approve N22.7 trillion through Ways and Means. This figure has however risen to N30 trillion.

READ ALSO: Senate reaffirms plans to probe N30trn Ways and Means 

During the inauguration, the Committee Chairman, Jibrin popularly known as Echocho, pledged to uphold the integrity of the investigation and called upon individuals with knowledge or involvement in the expenditure to come forward and assist with the inquiry.

On his part, the Senate President, Godswill Akpabio, in his remarks emphasised the importance of impartiality and transparency in the investigation process, urging members to prioritise the interests of the Nigerian people above all else.

He said, “Today, we gather here with a common purpose, to inaugurate a crucial ad-hoc committee. This committee, which was constituted following the report of the Joint Committees on Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions; Finance; National Planning; Agriculture; and Appropriations after interacting with the Federal Government’s Economic Management Team, holds great significance as it is charged with the investigation of the ways and means, including the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme. 

“The constitution of this committee is a testament to the Senate’s unwavering commitment to transparency, accountability, and good governance. It reflects our dedication to addressing the concerns of the Nigerian people and upholding the principles of democracy.

“To the members of this esteemed committee, I implore you to approach your responsibilities with the utmost sense of patriotism, professionalism and integrity. Your investigation demands impartiality and fairness, always keeping the public interest and the welfare of our nation at the forefront. We must leave no stone unturned in our pursuit of the truth. Therefore, conduct thorough inquiries and dig out information that will assist the Senate in making laws for the betterment of our country.

“The success of this Ad-Hoc committee hinges on collaboration, cooperation, and a steadfast commitment to the common good. Let us set aside personal and partisan interests, focusing solely on the task at hand. By working harmoniously, we can ensure that the Ways and Means in Nigeria are managed prudently, efficiently, and in accordance with the law.

“Moreover, confidentiality is paramount to your work. The information and data we gather during our investigations are sensitive and must be handled with the utmost care and discretion. Adhering to strict protocols will ensure the security and integrity of the information you uncover.

“In carrying out your mandate, it is imperative that you engage with relevant stakeholders, experts, and organisations. Their valuable insights and perspectives will strengthen the credibility and comprehensiveness of your findings and recommendations. I urge you to remain open to constructive inputs and feedback, harnessing the knowledge and expertise of others to achieve your collective goal.

“As you embark on this vital mission, please maintain open lines of communication with the public. The Nigerian people must be kept informed of your progress and findings, as their trust and confidence in your work are of utmost importance. You must demonstrate your dedication to serving our nation with distinction and honour.

“In conclusion, I urge you to remember the gravity of the task before you. The future of our nation rests upon your shoulders, and you must approach this task with grave seriousness and determination. Guided by the principles of justice, fairness, and the common good, work tirelessly to ensure the responsible management of Ways and Means in Nigeria.

“I extend my heartfelt gratitude to each member of this committee for accepting the responsibility to serve our nation in this capacity. Your dedication and commitment to this cause are truly admirable, and I have complete confidence in your ability to execute your duties with excellence.

“I wish you every success in this endeavour, and I offer my total support in the pursuit of our objectives in setting up this committee. Together, let us uphold the values of transparency, integrity, and accountability as we work towards the responsible management of Ways and Means in Nigeria.

“This Ad-Hoc Committee is hereby inaugurated.”

Meanwhile, relevant stakeholders present at the inauguration were; the Minister for Finance, Wale Edun, Minister for Budget and National Planning, Atiku Bagudu, CBN Governor, Olayemi Cardoso, the Auditor General of the Federation, Shaakaa Chira, the Accountant General of the Federation, Oluwatoyin Sakirat Madein, amongst others.

Sharon Eboesomi

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