Knocks and condemnatory remarks have trailed President Muhammadu Buhari’s approval of N1.14 billion for the purchase of vehicles for the neighbouring Niger Republic.
Persecondnews reports that Niger Republic is currently the number one trending topic on social media in Nigeria, following the release of N1.14 billion to the office of the Accountant General of the Federation (AGF) for the purchase of 10 Toyota Land Cruiser vehicles to Niger Republic.
The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has embarked on strike since February 14, 2022 over the non-implementation of their demands including increased funding of education and a raise in their salaries which was last done about 11 years ago.
The Minister of Finance, Budget, and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, who confirmed the approval at the end of Wednesday’s Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting at the State House, Abuja, said providing intervention to Niger Republic is not new and it is the prerogative of President Muhammadu Buhari, who approved the purchase.
She said the financial support which is primarily for the purpose of enhancing capacity to protect their territory is based on a request by the Nigerien Government.
“This was not the first time the country is proving such interventions to her neighbours.
“Let me just say that overtime, 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 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. 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,’’ Ahmed told reporters.
Meanwhile, Nigerians have taken to the social media to express their displeasure over the report, following the outrage generated by a popular social media influencer and journalist, David Hundeyin, who leaked the document from the budget office disclosing the approval of the money on his Twitter handle.
Persecondnews reports that Hundeyin wrote: “President @MBuhari over to you please. Kindly explain why you are expending scarce Nigerian public sector resources on your Nigerièn cousins, and in such a brazen manner that you dare to let it appear on official Budget Office documentation.”
Another person, @FAVOURP wrote: “And to think that Nigerians youths will be silent instead of protesting in front of senate, requesting this money & more be returned to Nigeria. It’s a shame that our president is wasting our resources while students are home and the poor can’t afford bread or a comfortable meal.’’
“Nigerians we all need to wake up.
Buhari has some questions to answer. ASUU has been on strike for months now, but he was brazenly approving billions of naira for Niger, needless to mention the railway project,” another person @TaichiLMD tweeted.
@SmartAF_ wrote: “Buhari, sooo u can buy cars for another country but you can’t pay ASUU? Chai what manner of nonsense is this?”