The Senate on Wednesday adopted the report of the House of Representatives committee on promissory note programme and bond issuance for the payment of local contractors.
The adoption was made after the lawmakers considered the report of the conference committee set up to consider the matter.
President Muhammadu Buhari had in March written to the National Assembly, seeking its approval for the issuance of promissory notes to offset inherited local debts.
A promissory note is a debt instrument which one party promises in writing to pay a determinate sum of money to the other, either at a fixed or determinable future time, under specific terms.
The Senate had on December 5, 2018, approved N43.5 billion as payment for “contractors liabilities” to six contractors.
The contractors are Setraco Nigeria Limited (N37.4 billion); Bouygues Nigeria Limited (N4.6 billion); Simidia S&I International Company Limited (N346 million); Hamdala Homes &Agencies Limited (N210.6 million) and Lejmej Nigeria Limited (N960 million).
The Senate also approved N193 billion to clear outstanding claims of 269 verified companies, who are beneficiaries of the Export Expansion Grant scheme.
The EEG scheme is an incentive of the federal government, aimed at supporting active exporters in expanding their businesses, it also helps in the diversification of the Nigerian economy.
Both the Senate and the House of Representatives had approved contradictory amounts for the payment of contractors.
The two chambers thereafter, agreed to set up a committee to reconcile areas of differences in the recommendations of the report filed by both chambers.
The Senate has, however, adopted the House committee report which sought the approval of N206 billion for the payment of seven contractors. The seventh contractor is SCC Nigeria Limited with N162 billion.
The House also approved N195 billion for claims of 270 companies. The House added Mahaza Company Limited with N2 billion.
Presenting the report, the chairman of the committee, Francis Alimekhena, explained why the two companies were included in the House of Reps report.
“The conference committee observed that the two additional companies SCC Nigerian Limited and Mahaza Company Limited whose approval of payment was not granted in the Senate, did not present key documents to the ad hoc committee as requested till the expiration of the period given to them but subsequently presented all necessary documents to the house committee on Aids, Loans and Debts Management who recommended their payment.
“Recommendation: After thorough scrutiny and consultations, the conference committee adopted the House of Representatives version,” he said.
The lawmakers unanimously adopted the report of the conference committee via a voice vote.