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House of Reps approves Buhari’s extra N1 trln borrowing from CBN to plug 2022 deficits

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The House of Representatives has approved the request by President Mohammadu Buhari to borrow an extra N1 trillion in temporary advances from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to help plug gaps in last year’s budget, lawmakers said on Tuesday.

Buhari asked parliament in December for approval to borrow an extra 1 trillion naira in so called ‘ways and means’ advances from the CBN, taking the government’s total borrowing to N23.7 trillion.

Lawmakers at the upper house of parliament, who are currently on recess to campaign for elections due in March, will need to approve the borrowing plan for it to become law.

President Muhammadu Buhari had requested approval for N22.7 trillion outstanding borrowing from the CBN to be converted to bonds at 9 percent, but the House is seeking further engagement with the executive to allow for thorough and detailed work and submissions on the larger part of the advances which amounts to N22.72 trillion.

The House, like the Senate, said it will consider the N22.72 trillion after properly engaging the executive.

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On December 28, the Senate stepped down the restructuring of the N22.7 trillion Ways and Means request until more documents were presented for further legislative action.

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajamialia said the N22.7 trillion request would be considered after the lawmakers resume from recess.

In 2022, the president had written to the national assembly, seeking approval for the ways and means advances.

“The ways and means advances by the Central Bank of Nigeria to the federal government has been a funding option to the federal government to cater for short term or emergency finance to fund delayed government expected cash receipt of physical deficit,” Buhari had said in the letter.

“The ways and means balances as at December 19, 2022 is N22.7 trillion.”

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