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NLC, TUC kick as Senate okays FG’s N22.7trn ‘Ways and Means’ request

NLC, TUC kick as Senate okays FG’s N22.7trn ‘Ways and Means’ request


The Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, and Trade Union Congress of Nigeria, TUC, yesterday, picked holes in the Senate’s approval of President Muhammadu Buhari’s controversial N22.72 trillion Ways and Means request, describing it as shocking and suspicious.

The Senate had, yesterday, caved into pressure and approved President Buhari’s request to restructure the sum of N22.72 trillion Ways and Means advances made to ensure the government was not shut down.


Pooh-poohing the move, TUC Secretary General, Nuhu Toro, said: “It is ridiculous and creates room for suspicion. We don’t think this is necessary, especially on the eve of this administration’s departure. This leaves us with the question of whether governance is a continuous exercise or not.”

Also, a top leader of the NLC, who spoke on condition of anonymity, sad: “For the Senate to approve such extra-budgetary spending demonstrates the continuing gang-up of those in leadership, especially the Executive and Legislature, against the masses.

“We, therefore, view this not just with disgust but also with great alarm, given the parlous state of our economy and the poor condition of living of the citizenry.”


Apart from the N22.72 trillion, the Senate also approved the sum of N180.463 million being supplementary budget balance and the interest accrued on the Ways and Means Advances. It said that if there was a need to exceed the five per cent threshold of the previous year’s revenue, recourse must be made to the National Assembly for approval.

Yesterday’s approval was sequel to the presentation and consideration of the report by the Senate Special Committee on Ways and Means chaired by Senator Ibrahim Gobir, APC, Sokoto East.

Ways and Means are loans or advances given by the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, to the Federal Government to cater for short-term or emergency finance to fund delayed government expected cash receipts.

In his presentation, Gobir said some of the beneficiaries of the funds are the office of the Accountant-General of the Federation, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (ECOWAS national unit), Nigeria Bulk Electricity Trading, Azura Power West Africa, Niger Delta Power Holding Company, and Accugas Limited.


The expenditure was approved after a forced closed-door session that lasted for one hour.

President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, called for a closed-door session to calm the nerves of aggrieved lawmakers, who had vehemently opposed the passage earlier in January.

The Ways and Means report slated for consideration on Tuesday was dropped, and the matter was not slated in yesterday’s Order Paper before it was considered and approved by the senators.




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