The Senate, yesterday, abandoned its previous hard-line stance and approved the conversion to a 40-year bond of the N23.72 trillion Federal Government’s unappropriated expenditure funded by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) through its ways and means (W&M) window.
President Muhammadu Buhari, last year, wrote the National Assembly to approve the amount alongside a fresh N1 trillion it planned to take from the window (bringing the total value earmarked for securitization to N23.72 trillion) for conversion to a 40-year tenure bond priced at nine percent.
The bond conversion, which would ultimately move the amount from the balance sheet of the CBN to the Debt Management Office (DMO) for management, has a three-year moratorium, the Buhari administration disclosed.
The Senate and the House of Representatives had at several times turned down approval for lack of proper explanation on how the proceeds of the loans would be spent.
With the Senate’s approval, the President’s efforts to push through have now narrowed to the House of Representatives, which had rejected the plea for lack of sufficient explanation of the utilization of the facility. Sources said the Reps might discuss the request for possible approval when they convene next week.
The lower chamber would have approved the fresh additional borrowing of N1 trillion before proceeding on election recess but held back its approval for the restructuring of the controversial N22.72 trillion, seeking further explanation on the accumulation.