The Federal Government has reacted to the reports making rounds that it purchased vehicles worth N1.4 billion for the Niger Republic government.
OduNews had earlier reported that the federal government action sparked angry reactions among a cross-section of Nigerians on social media on Wednesday.
But the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, when asked to confirm the reports argued that even though Nigerians have the right to question the approval, President Muhammadu Buhari, who approved the purchase also has the right to make his own assessment on situations and act accordingly.
Responding to questions at the end of the weekly Federal Executive Council, FEC, meeting presided over by President Buhari at the Council Chambers, Presidential Villa, Abuja, the Minister said Nigeria has a policy of assisting its neighbours to strengthen capacity to deal with insecurity.
According to her, over times, Nigeria has been supporting her neighbours, adding that the donation was to enhance the capacity of Niger Republic to maintain security.
She said that the President has the liberty to access what is in the best interest of the country.
While maintaining that the President reserved the right to take decisions in the interest of Nigeria, she said, “this was not the first time the country is proving such interventions to her neighbors.
“Let me just say that overtime, Nigeria has had to support its neighbors especially the immediate neighbors to enhance their capacity to secure their countries as it relates to us. This is not the first time that Nigeria had assisted Niger Republic, Cameroon or Chad.
“The President makes an assessment as to what is required based on the request of their Presidents. 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 rights 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 an intervention to our neighbors. It is in the best interest of Nigeria to do so”
Report had had it that 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 which was released by a journalist, David Hundeyin, 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 Toyoya Land Cruisers was awarded to IFO Kaura Motors Nig. Limited.