Nigeria’s Federal Government has confirmed it purchased security vehicles to the tune of N1.4 billion for West African neighbors, Niger Republic.
The confirmation was made by the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, on Wednesday in Abuja.
Ahmed, who spoke to newsmen at the conclusion of the weekly Federal Executive Council meeting, said the purchase of the vehicles for Niger was nothing new.
The Minister said Nigeria has a custom of helping needy neighbors and the latest move was not an exemption.
On why the government chose to issue a helping hand to Niger Republic at a time Nigerians were yearning for a solution to the insecurity ravaging the country, Zainab said she had no rights to question the decision of the President.
“Let me just say that, over time, Nigeria has had to support its neighbours, especially immediate neighbours, to enhance their capacity to secure their countries as it relates to us.
“This is not the first time that Nigeria has supported Niger, Cameroon or Chad and the President makes an assessment as to what is required, based on the request of their President and such requests are approved and the interventions provided is to enhance their capacity to protect their own territory as it relates to security also to Nigeria.
“Nigerians have a right to ask questions, but also the President has a responsibility to make an assessment of what is in the best interests of the country. And I cannot question that decision myself.
“I have said that this is not the first time that Nigeria as a country has provided intervention to our neighbors following an assessment that it is in the best interest of Nigeria to do so.”
The confirmation is coming on the heels of outrage from Nigerians after investigative journalist, David Hundeyin leaked a document about the purchase of the vehicles on Tuesday night.
The document, which emanated from the budgeting office, indicated that President Buhari approved the funds for the purchase of 10 Toyota land Cruiser jeeps.
The document also showed a name and account number the said money was paid into.
Hundeyin said he went a step further to confirm the account details in the document and it belongs to an automobile dealer, Kaura Motors Nigeria Limited.
The move by the government has left many Nigerians wondering why such an amount was expended on a sovereign nation when schools in Nigeria have been on shutdown since February over ASUU strike.