FG defends N1.15 billion expenditure on procurement of vehicles for Niger Republic

The Federal Government has defended the expenditure of N1.15 billion on the purchase of 10 SUVs for the Republic of Niger, saying that the move is to enable Nigeria safeguard its territory in the best interest of Nigeria’s security.

The reaction by the Federal Government follows the outrage that has greeted the deployment of such amount of money to finance other countries at a time resources are inadequate in the country and lecturers have been on strike for over 5 months due to poor funding of the universities.

This was made known on Wednesday by the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, during a media chat with State House Correspondents after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting chaired by President Muhammadu Buhari, saying that this was not the first time Nigeria is supporting her neighbours.

Ahmed insisted that the President had a responsibility to make such decisions “in the best interests of the country”.

What the Minister of Finance is saying

Ahmed said, “Let me just say that, over time, Nigeria has had to support its neighbours, especially immediate neighbours, to enhance their capacity to secure their countries as it relates to us.

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“This is not the first time that Nigeria has supported Niger, Cameroon or Chad, and the President makes an assessment as to what is required, based on the request of their president and such requests are approved and the interventions provided is to enhance their capacity to protect their own territory as it relates to security also to Nigeria.

“Nigerians have a right to ask questions, but also the President has a responsibility to make an assessment of what is in the best interests of the country. And I cannot question that decision.”

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What you should know

  • Recall that there was a media report in June 15, 2022, revealing the details of how President Muhammadu Buhari’s government approved the sum of N1.15 billion for the procurement of 10 Toyota Land Cruiser vehicles for officials of the Niger Republic with public funds from Nigeria.
  • The information which was reported to have been gotten from the ‘appropriations’ page of the Finance Ministry’s website showed that in July 2022, N1,145,000,000 was approved for payment to Kaura Motors Nigeria Limited to supply the SUVs.
  • It also revealed that the President had approved the disbursement since February 2022.
  • This news was greeted with angry reactions from Nigerians who argued that funding a foreign entity should not be the government’s priority amid the harsh economic realities

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