The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, says President Muhammadu Buhari will seek the approval of the National Assembly, as he believes his authorization for $1 billion to be set aside for the purchase of weapons to combat the Boko Haram insurgency was not final.
On Wednesday, Masur Dan-Ali, Minister of Defence, said President Buhari had approved the sum of $1 billion for the purchase of equipment for the military.
The development sparked off public debate and criticism.
While the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and some Nigerians accused the president of approving the funds for selfish reasons ahead of the 2019 elections, others defended the decision as critical given the level of insecurity in the country, while another group of Nigerians, including lawmakers, questioned the legality of the decision.
But speaking on Sunrise Daily, a Channels Television programme on Friday, Shehu said a draft bill will be sent to the National Assembly for consideration and approval.
The spokesman said Buhari will not breach the constitution.
“The process has begun, it’s not concluded, therefore, everyone will be involved. Mr President will not breach the constitution of this country. Approval at that level is granted, there is nothing controversial,” Shehu said.
“The attorney-general will bring a draft bill to FEC, the president will approve and then say take it to the national assembly. The draft budget before it got to the national assembly, the FEC signed and approved it.
“People will say when you’ve defeated Boko Haram why do you need funds but if you check around, all over the world, the countries do most spending in peace time.
“There is police and there is also the military. It’s going to touch on every aspect of security in the country. We are not talking about buying footwear or uniforms which is routine. We’ll re-equip the military that has depleted much of its stock fighting criminality, insurgency and terrorism across the country.
“We need this money to restock. The Nigerian army, the police, they ought to have arms that they can use in situations where they are needed. It’s not as if we have no idea of what to do with this money, it is also true there is still some finishing jobs to be done to Boko Haram.”
RipplesNigeria… without borders, without fears
Join the conversation
SPECIAL REPORT: Displaced residents of Zamfara battle hunger, as underfunding derails Nigeria’s nutrition goals
On paper, Muhammad Zayyanu is seven years old. The quiet boy who looks shorter for his age could not recollect...
INVESTIGATION: N7.3bn paid for unnamed projects; how Nigerian govt spent N2.2trn in six months
Analysing nearly 3,000 payments made by various Federal Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) over the previous six months (January...
INVESTIGATION… Delay rocks Nigerian govt’s promise of N30,000 covid-19 relief for artisans, others
Before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in February, 2020, Chukwudi Okoroigwe’s daily earnings as a bus driver was hardly enough to cater to the...
INVESTIGATION… Ten years after, communities count losses as AfDB, Cross River govt abandon road project
Ten years after the Cross River State government and African Development Bank (AFDB) jointly awarded the Yahe-Wanokom-Wanikade-Benue border road for...
INVESTIGATION….N.3bn down the drain: Why water projects for Enugu communities don’t work
In this concluding part, ARINZE CHIJIOKE talks about some of the projects that are serving the people and how various WASH programmes have failed to tackle...