An aide to President Muhammadu Buhari has said the president won’t spend the $1 billion from the nation’s Excess Crude Oil Account, ECA, to fund the fight against insecurity unless he receives approval from the National Assembly. “I want to clarify that none of these monies will be used by Mr. President, by the military or released for any purpose unless and until the money is appropriated by the National Assembly,” Ita Enang, a presidential assistant on National Assembly matters, said in Uyo.
The Senate had before embarking on its recess in December asked the president not to spend the money without appropriation by the National Assembly. Nigerians have expressed divergent opinions on the government’s intention to withdraw the money which it said would be used to fight Boko Haram and other forms of insecurity in the different parts of the country. Enang, a former senator, spoke on the controversy surrounding the money when he granted an interview to Atlantic FM, Uyo. “I will say that the 2018 budget is still before the National Assembly. If we conclude the tallying to know what the different armed services need, the army, the air force, and the navy, and the police, and others, we will then present that to the National Assembly, and we will only implement it subject to what they have approved.”