Senate summons finance minister, others over alleged lopsided disbursement of N500bn development fund


By Sylvanus Tyoakaa, Abuja

The ad-hoc committee set up last week by the senate to investigation the disbursement of development fund to the 36 states of the federation since 2017, has summoned the finance minister, Zainab Ahmed, Central Bank governor, Godwin Emefiele and others to appear before it .
The senate had in a motion last week, by Senator Ali Ndume (APC Borno South ), alleged uneven disbursement of the fund by Development Bank of Nigeria ( DBN).
The seven -man committee headed by Senator Sani Musa (APC Niger East), at its sitting on Tuesday resolved to summon the finance minister the CBN governor, the managing directors of Development Bank of Nigeria , Bank of Industry, Bank of Agriculture and Director General of Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency (SMEDAN), to explain the criteria used for the disbursement of the fund in the last five years.
Speaking at the meeting, Musa said the mandate of the committee is to find out reasons behind the lopsided disbursement across the six geo – political zone with Lagos state alone, collecting 47 per cent.
He said, “Available information at the disposal of this committee, shows that here are worries on the disbursement methodology employed by the 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 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.
He said the investigation seems very daunting, stressing however that, with patriotism, cooperation and commitment, the committee would succeed


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