“No money for buying arms missing” – Presidency

The Presidency has reacted to reports that the money allocated for buying arms to fight insurgency is missing.

According to Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, missing funds can’t happen under the regime of the President Buhari.

National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno, in an interview with BBC Hausa Services had said money meant to buy arms was missing. He said;

“No one knows what happened to the money but by God’s grace, the president will investigate to find out whether the money was spent and where the arms went,”

But Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, in an interview with Channels TV on Friday night assured that the $1 billion taken from the excess crude account was being utilised for the purpose and that nothing was missing.

He said the reference by it in the interview of the BBC in Hausa service by the national security adviser, had been misconstrued and mistranslated.

He said,

“About the $1bn taken from the Excess Crude Account with the consent of state governors used for military procurements, I want to assure you that nothing of that money is missing.

“The reference by it in the interview of the BBC Hausa Service by the National Security Adviser has been misconstrued and mistranslated.

“NSA made two critical points –one is that we don’t have enough weapons which is a statement of facts; and two procurements made have not been fully delivered.”

“At no point did the NSA say that money has been misappropriated and that no arms is seen. They have not been delivered, that is correct; these are things you don’t get off the shelves,” Shehu noted.

He explained that in August 2018, they allowed the Nigerian government to buy 12 super Tucano light aircraft suitable for the kind of war the nation is fighting in the north-east.

In addition to the Super Tucano, other arms of the military had also made procurement.

Shehu said the navy has done nearly 100 percent of their procurement, with the equipment delivered, adding that the Air Force had bought a number of attack helicopters.

Thirty-five helicopters were bought from Ukraine, he said.

He added that some of them had been commissioned on national television.

He said that the nation had bought a lot of drones.

He lamented that with the army, there had been problems with procurement, as the equipment had been coming in bits and pieces, which is not ideal.

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