The Nigerian Senate has passed a bill seeking to amend the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Act to increase its advances to the Federal Government (FG) from five per cent to a maximum of 15 per cent.
The passage of the bill followed its presentation and consideration at plenary on Saturday. The bill was sponsored by Sen. Gobir Abdullahi. The Senate is reacting to public outcry over backdoor ways and means borrowings from the apex bank totaling N22.7 trillion, in contravention of its 2007 Act.
Section 38 of the CBN Act stated that: “Notwithstanding the provisions of section 34(d) of the act, the bank may grant temporary advances to the Federal Government in respect of temporary deficiency of budget revenue at such rate as the bank may determine.
“It further stated that the total amount of such advances outstanding shall not at any time exceed five per cent of the previous year’s actual revenue of the Federal Government.”
Abdullahi, however, in his lead debate said: “Mr. President, my respected colleagues, permit me to lead the debate on this bill, which seeks to amend the CBN Act to increase the total CBN advances to Federal Government from five per cent to a maximum of fifteen per cent.”
According to him, the bill was read for the first time on May 24.
He said the essence of the bill was to enable the federal government meet its immediate and future obligation in the approval of the ways and means by the National Assembly and advances to the federal government by the CBN.
“This amendment is very consequential and it needs the support of us all, it is to enable the federal government to embark on very important projects that will inflate and rejig the economy.
“I, therefore, urge you all to support the passage of this bill,” he said.