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FG To Audit Buhari’s N22.7Trn Ways and Means Loan

The Federal Government has unveiled plans to soon begin the audit of the N22.7 trillion Ways and Means loan by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to the immediate past President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration with a view to knowing if the facility is prudently utilized.

Ways and Means is a loan facility through which the CBN provides short-term financing to cover the government’s budget shortfalls in in compliance with section (38) of the CBN Act (2007).

The Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Dr. Olawale Edun, made this disclosure on Tuesday at the Public Wealth Management Conference organized by his ministry in Abuja.

He also disclosed that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Limited (NNPCL) had been charged by the government to improve oil production as a means of improving the nation’s revenue.

Edun added that an Executive Bill would soon be presented to the National Assembly that would address the current challenges of excessive taxes and levies from the country’s tax system as a measure to avoid future Ways and Means indebtedness.

The minister, who explained that the details of the planned audit of the Ways and Means loan would soon be made public, stressed the imperative for effectively managing the money supply to the economy to reduce the liquidity and ensure micro and macroeconomic stability.

He 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”, Edun added.

The forum, which had in attendance the Vice President, Kashim Shettima, seeks to identify ways of managing the nation’s assets and resources for the overall wellbeing of the people.

Some government officials present at the conference include the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Doris Uzoka-Anite; Minister of Agriculture, Abubakar Kyari; and the Governor of Cross Rivers State, Bassey Out.

Other dignitaries at the event comprised the World Bank representative, top players in the organised private sector (OPS) and the diplomatic corps.

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