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Senate panel seeks more time to probe FG’s N23.7trn extra-budgetary spending

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A committee of the senate probing the N23.7 trillion spent by the federal government without the approval of the national assembly is seeking more time to turn in its report.

In December, the senate suspended a request by President Muhammadu Buhari to approve the sum under what was referred to as the “ways and means advances”.

Senators Betty Apiafi and Thompson Sekibo argued that the request was not constitutional.

They also demanded that before the upper legislative chamber could approve the request, the senate must have the details of what the funds were spent on.

Thereafter, senate leader, Ibrahim Gobir was appointed to chair the ad hoc committee probing the spending.

While speaking on the floor of the senate on Tuesday, Gobir said he could not present the report of his committee because the information requested from Zainab Ahmed, minister of finance; and Godwin Emefiele, governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) was not available.

He said, “Unfortunately in the process, we were not able to get the information that we are looking for because the two of them were out of town so it was difficult for our committee to come up with a report as scheduled today.

” We want an extension of about three days to get the information and report to the senate.”

While approving the senate leader’s request, senate president, Ahmad Lawan said the president’s request “is a serious issue”.

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