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Forensic Audit of N30 Trillion Buhari Loans Ongoing – Finance Minister

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On Wednesday, the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Dr. Wale Edun, informed Senators about the Federal Government’s advancements in its forensic investigation of the N30 trillion Ways and Means loans provided by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to the previous administration.

Dr. Edun, alongside the Accountant General of the Federation, Dr. Mrs. Oluwatoyin Madein, addressed the Senate Committee on Appropriation in Abuja, highlighting several key issues.

Dr. Edun reported significant progress in the forensic audit of the N22.7 trillion Ways and Means advances, stating that the investigation aims to scrutinize the impact and ensure accountability in the use of the funds. He emphasized the government’s commitment to maintaining transparency and due diligence in financial management.

The Minister also discussed the delay in the launch of electric and Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) vehicles, attributing the hold-up to a spike in freight costs. He noted that the increased trade costs had made procurement less profitable, causing stakeholders to pause and reassess the viability of the project. However, he mentioned that innovative solutions, such as securing bulk carriers with lower freight costs, are being explored to mitigate these challenges.

Dr. Edun assured the committee that debt servicing is up to date, with $700 million already paid for 420 national development agencies and other obligations. He highlighted ongoing efforts to interrogate and secure revenues from all sources, stressing the importance of reducing reliance on Ways and Means loans.

The Chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriation, Senator Solomon Adeola, expressed concerns over the poor funding of capital components in the three concurrent national budgets. He urged the Finance Minister to prioritize the capital expenditure, which he believes will significantly impact the government’s performance and visibility in executing developmental projects.

Senator Adeola emphasized the importance of the capital components, stating, “It is the capital component of the budgets that will showcase this government largely in terms of performance.” He pointed out the stark contrast between the N1.84 billion achieved so far and the N9 trillion capital expenditure target, calling for more engagement with ministries, departments, and agencies to improve the situation.

The meeting underscored the need for diligent financial oversight and strategic investment in infrastructure to enhance the government’s credibility and effectiveness in delivering services to the public.

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