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N500bn Devt Fund : Senate summons Finance Minister , CBN Governor , others over uneven disbursements

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Ad – Hoc Committee set up by the Senate last week for thorough investigation on disbursement of development fund to 36 States of the Federation since 2017, has summoned the Minister of Finance , Zainab Ahmed , Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria ( CBN) Godwin Emefiele and others , to appear before it .

 

The Senate had on the strength of motion sponsored by Senator Ali Ndume ( APC Borno South ) last week Wednesday on alleged uneven disbursement of development fund to States by Development Bank of Nigeria ( DBN) , set up a 7 – man Ad – Hoc Committee to probe the allegation .

 

The Committee headed by Senator Sani Musa ( APC Niger East) , at its sitting on Tuesday resolved to summon the Minister of Finance , the CBN Governor , Managing Directors of Development Bank of Nigeria , Bank of Industry , Bank of Agriculture and Director General of Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency ( SMEDAN) , for explanations on criteria used for disbursement of the fund within the last five years .

 

Senator Musa in his opening remarks at the maiden meeting, said the committee’s mandate was to find out reasons behind lopsidedness of the disbursement across the six geo – political zone with Lagos State alone , having 47% of it .

 

” Available information at the disposal of this committee, shows that here are worries on the disbursement methodology employed by the Development Bank of Nigeria ( DBN) as not every MSMEs in the country , particularly in the north knows about the bank.

 

” This clearly calls for thorough investigation as mandated by the Senate as regards conformity or otherwise to criteria set for disbursement of the fund.

“Critical review of the total amount disbursed to benefiary MSMEs from inception to date and total recovery made , if any, will also be made .

 

” In doing this exercise, the committee will summon the Minister of Finance , the CBN Governor , Managing Directors of DBN , BOI, DG of SMEDAN and other relevant agencies as far as the fund is concerned “, he said .

He however stressed that the committee was not out to witch hunt any one ,but would evaluate the criteria that qualifies MSMEs to access the loan and at what interest rate.

The investigation he added, seems very daunting, but with patriotism , cooperation and commitment, the committee would succeed.

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