The Senate on Tuesday asked officials of executive arm of government to submit in three days details of information needed to pass the N23.7trillion Ways and Means Restructuring forwarded to it by President Muhammadu Buhari in December last year.
According to the Senate, it has become very imperative for the details to be provided, considering its adjournment of plenary next Tuesday to enable senators participate in ongoing campaigns.
The warning by the Senate was sequel to a request by its leader, Senator Ibrahim Gobir, APC, Sokoto East who is the Chairman of the Special Committee set up to interface with the Finance Minister and others for details on the N27.3trillion Ways and Means Restructuring , for additional three days.
Speaking under Order 40 of the Senate Standing rules, as amended, which has to do with with personal explanation, Gobir explained to his colleagues that series of attempts made by the committee from December 26, 2022 to Tuesday, January 17, 2023, to meet the Finance Minister and CBN Governor for the required details proved abortive.
Gobir said: ” As a special committee for urgent and thorough assignment, we hit the ground running immediately after composition on December 28 last year.
“For required details on the N22.7trillion Ways and Means Restructuring, six vital questions were raised, five for the CBN governor and one for the Finance Minister , but their trips abroad , prevented us from asking them the questions.
“Now that they are around, we request the Senate to give us additional three days for thorough work on the assignment and submission of report.”
Not happy with the development, the President of the Senate, Senator Ahmad Lawan, while responding, said the Ways and Means request from the President was a very serious issue that must not be taken with levity by all those concerned.
Lawan, who declared that the Senate was prepared to approve the request after thorough scrutiny, which could only be done if required details were provided by relevant officials from the executive arm of government, said: ” We must have necessary information for passage of the N22.7trillion request and time is not on our side in the Senate now in view of coming general elections.
“If there is need for the Senate to sit up to Friday this week for thorough consideration and passage of the request , it will be done but the affected officials from the executive must also expedite action on provision of required information as regards documents authorising approval and disbursement of the monies totalling N22.7trillion.”
Recall that President Muhammadu Buhari had in separate letters to both the Senate and the House of Representatives on December 21, 2022, sought approval for restructuring of N23.7trillion Ways and Means .