Amid backlash, the Federal Government has confirmed the revelation that it approved the purchase of vehicles worth N1.4 billion for neighboring Niger Republic to tackle insecurity.
Independent journalist David Hundeyin had on Tuesday posted the photo of a budget office document showing the payment, questioning why the government made the payment.
He asked President Muhammadu Buhari to explain why “scarce” public sector resources were being expended on Niger Republic without it appearing “on official Budget Office documentation.”
The contract to supply the 10 units of Toyota Land Cruisers was awarded to IFO Kaura Motors Nig. Limited.
The document generated reactions from many Nigerians online.
The Minister of Finance, Budget, and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed gave the confirmation on Wednesday, explaining that providing intervention to the neighboring Niger Republic is not new and it is the prerogative of President Muhammadu Buhari who approved the purchase.
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.
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, claiming it was in the best interest of the country.