…Extends implementation of N819bn supplementary to Dec. 31***
Senate has passed a bill seeking to amend the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Act to increase its advances to the Federal Government from five percent to a maximum of 15 percent.
The passage of the bill followed its presentation and consideration at plenary on Saturday.
The bill was sponsored by Sen. Gobir Abdullahi (APC- Sokoto).
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.
Senate- the Red Chamber
It further stated that the total amount of such advances outstanding shall not at any time exceed five percent 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 percent to a maximum of fifteen percent.”
According to him, the bill has been read for the first time on May 24.
He said the essence of the bill was to enable the federal government to 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.
In another development, the Senate at an emergency session on Saturday extended the implementation period for the N819 billion 2022 Supplementary Appropriation Act from June 30 to Dec. 31.
This followed the consideration and expeditious passage of the 2022 Supplementary Appropriation Act (Amendment) Bill.
Senate Leader Ibrahim Gobir had earlier during plenary, led the debate on the general principles of the bill.
Gobir said that the bill was read for the first time on May 24.
He said that the bill sought to amend the 2022 Supplementary Appropriation Act to extend the implementation from June 30 to Dec. 31.
“You would recall that the National Assembly extended the implementation of the 2022 Supplementary Appropriation Act from Dec. 31, 2022, to March 31, 2023.
“This was to allow full implementation of the budget, especially in light of the 2002 supplementary budget approved in Dec. 2022
“The extension had allowed MDAs to utilise a large proportion of funds released to them.
“However, a significant amount of funds remain with MDAs and will require a further extension to be fully expended.
“Given the critical importance of some key projects nearing completion, requesting a further extension of the expiration clause in the 2022 Supplementary Appropriation Bill is expedient.
“This is to avoid compounding the problem of abandoned projects given that some of the projects were not provided for in the 2023 Budget.”
In his remarks, the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, said that the supplementary budget approved for the executive by both chambers in December has not been implemented due to lack of releases.
”The supplementary budget meant for fixing of critical infrastructure destroyed by flood across the country last year has not been implemented due to non-releases of appropriated funds.
“As explained and requested by the executive, the duration of implementation will now be extended from June 30 earlier fixed, to Dec. 31, 2023”.