FG Admits, Defends N1.4 Billion Vehicles Procurement For Niger Republic

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The purchase of vehicles worth N1.4 billion by the Federal Government to help Niger tackle insecurity, was on Wednesday confirmed by Zainab Ahmed, Minister of Finance, Budget, and National Planning.

The minister gave the confirmation while explaining that providing intervention to the neighboring Niger Republic was not new and it was the prerogative of President Muhammadu Buhari who approved the purchase.

She said that President Muhammadu Buhari, whose actions she could not question, had the right to make his own assessment of situations and give directives accordingly.

She added that the financial support, which was primarily for the purpose of enhancing capacity to protect their territory, based on a request by the Nigerien Government, was 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 released on social media which showed that the president approved the release of the funds on February 22, 2022, for the Niger Republic.

A report published on Wednesday by an online medium in June revealed that Buhari approved N1.15bn to purchase 10 Toyota Land Cruiser V8 vehicles for the Nigerien government.

The record which was sourced from the ‘appropriations’ page of the 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 okayed the disbursement since February 2022.

The news has sparked outrage amongst Nigerians who argued that funding a foreign entity should not be the government’s priority amid the harsh economic realities.

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