CEM REPORT | The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed has confirmed the federal government’s approval of the sum of N1,145,000,000.00 for the purchase of vehicles for the Niger Republic.
She said the donation was to enhance the capacity of the Niger Republic to maintain security.
This donation has come amidst acute financial crunch, budget deficit and heavy borrowing,
The minister speaking after Federal Executive Council, (FEC), meeting presided over by President Buhari at the Council Chambers, Presidential Villa, Abuja, noted that the move was in accordance with Nigeria’s foreign policy of assisting its neighbours to strengthen its capacity to deal with insecurity.
“Let me just say that over time, Nigeria has had to support its neighbours, especially the immediate neighbours to enhance their capacity to secure their countries as it relates to us. This is not the first time that Nigeria had assisted the Niger Republic, Cameroon or Chad.
“It is to enhance their capacity to protect their countries, as it relates to security and also to Nigeria.”
Reacting to the outrage by Nigerians on the issue, she said President Muhammadu Buhari, has the right to make his assessment of situations and act accordingly.
“Nigerians have the right to ask questions, but also the President has the responsibility to assess what is in the best interest of the country and I cannot question the decision myself.
“I have said that this is not the first time and that Nigeria as a country has provided intervention to our neighbours. It is in the best interest of Nigeria to do so”
According to the report of popular social media influencer, David Hundeyin, the President approved about 10 number Toyota Land Cruiser vehicles to the Republic of Niger, but did not, however, specify the purpose for such approval
The document released by the media influencer showed that the president approved the release of the fund on the 22nd of February this year.
The contract to supply the 10 units of Toyota Land Cruisers was awarded to IFO Kaura Motors Nig. Limited.
This gesture which is sure to have been financed with borrowed funds as the nation”s revenue dwindles, has come at a time when the Academic Staff Union of University (ASUU) has been on strike for non compliance with payment agreement.