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FG justifies buying Niger Republic N1.4bn vehicles

By News Desk

The Federal Government has confirmed and justified decisions to purchase vehicles worth N1.4 billion to help the Niger Republic in tackling insecurity within the West African nation and along the borders.

It added that the decision to assist the West African nation in tackling insecurity along the border lines was not new and that the purchase of vehicles should not be seen as a waste of resources.

The Minister of Finance, Budget, and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, gave the confirmation on Wednesday during an interview after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Villa in Abuja.

Ahmed, while noting that the decision was within the prerogative of the President, stated that the fund was approved by the country’s leader and approved the purchase for Nigeria’s neighbour.

According to her, President Buhari, whose actions she cannot question, has the right to make his own assessment of situations and give directives accordingly.

She added that the financial support, which is primarily for the purpose of enhancing capacity to protect their territory, based on a request by the Nigerien Government is also in the best interest of the country.

The minister, who was speaking after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting presided over by the President, responded to questions regarding documents currently in circulation showing that Buhari approved the release of the funds on February 22, 2022, for the Niger Republic.

“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. The President makes an assessment as to what is required based on the request of the President. Such requests are approved and interventions are provided. It is to enhance their capacity to protect their countries, as it relates to security and also to Nigeria.”

She further added, “Nigerians have the right to ask questions, but also the President has the responsibility to make an assessment of 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 neighbors. It is in the best interest of Nigeria to do so.”

There had been outrage over the Federal Government’s largesse to the neighbouring country, as some have questioned why such money should be given to Niger Republic when public universities in Nigerian remained closed for about five months over the inability of the government to meet up with the demands of staff.


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