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President Tinubu’s govt borrow N3.8 Trillion from CBN

Recent data from the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) fourth-quarter 2023 Statistics bulletin reveals significant borrowing by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s government through the Ways and Means mechanism. Over the last six months of 2023, an additional N3.8 trillion was borrowed through this method, bringing the total cumulative Ways and Means balances owed by the government to a staggering N8.2 trillion by December 2023.

This revelation contradicts earlier claims made by the Minister of Finance, Wale Edun, who stated during the Spring Meetings of the IMF and World Bank in Washington DC that Tinubu’s administration had not borrowed from the CBN. However, the data published by the CBN paints a different picture, indicating substantial borrowing through the Ways and Means channel.

The total Ways and Means balance stood at N26.95 trillion in May 2023 when the Tinubu administration assumed office. These balances were later securitized as part of the federal government’s domestic debt profile. The subsequent increase in borrowing is significant, with balances rising from N4.36 trillion in June 2023 to N8.21 trillion by December 2023, marking an 88 percent increase over the six-month period.

This surge in borrowing through Ways and Means reflects the government’s reliance on this mechanism to finance its operations, raising concerns about fiscal sustainability and debt management strategies. The discrepancy between official statements and the CBN’s data highlights the need for transparency and accountability in fiscal reporting to ensure informed decision-making and public trust in government finances.

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