President Muhammadu Buhari has been advised by the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) to request a refund of the N1.4 billion provided to the Niger Republic for the purchase of government vehicles.
On Wednesday, SERAP posted the demand to its verified Twitter account.
On Wednesday, Zainab Ahmed, the minister of finance, declared that the federal government had approved N1.4 billion for the “supply of 10 Toyota Land Cruiser V8 vehicles to the Republic of Niger”.
According to the minister, Nigeria has always offered these interventions to its neighbors, including Chad, Cameroon, and many others.
Buhari reserved the right, according to Ahmed, to make decisions that are in the best interests of the nation and its people.
“Let me just say that over time, Nigeria has had to support its neighbours, especially the immediate neighbours, to enhance their capacity to secure their countries as it relates to us. This is not the first time that Nigeria has assisted the 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.”
Ahmed added, “Nigerians have the right 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.
However, Nigerians have shown disapproval over this disbursement of funds amid the nation’s crises such as the nearly six-month strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
Reacting to this, SERAP tweeted, “The Buhari administration must immediately ask Niger Republic authorities to refund the N1.4 billion approved for them to buy vehicles, and use the money to offset the funding for ASUU, so those poor children can go back to school”.