Nigeria’s presidency has explained that US$1 billion withdrawn from Excess Crude Account was partly used to pay the US$490 million for a dozen Super Tucano fighter aircraft.
The contract for the fighter jets is in a direct, government-to-government (no Contractors or Commission Agents) transaction with government of the United States.
Malam Garba Shehu, the President’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, said that various other military procurements have been made.
He was reacting to allegations of opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) that the money was spent to finance the re-election of President Muhammadu Buhari during the February 2019 presidential election.
The Peoples Democratic Party in a statement on Sunday asked Buhari to explain to Nigerians what his administration had done with one billion dollars drawn from the ECA in 2017 and meant to address the nation’s security challenges.
The amount was approved by the National Economic Council in December, 2017, to be used to purchase weapons to fight insurgency across the country.
Shehu described PDP as peddling “unverifiable allegation’’ and accused the party of suffering from socio emotional distress.
He said PDP ”thinks that all governments in the world run on the basis of freewheeling looting as they did their own.
”Here is what happened to that 1,000 million dollars.
”It’s on record that the Buhari administration paid about 490 million dollars for a dozen Super Tucano fighter aircraft in a direct, government-to-government (no Contractors or Commission Agents) transaction with government of the United States.
”Various other military procurements have been made. Balance of expenditure stands at about 880 million dollars or so.’’
He said that the PDP spent Defence procurement funds on their failed 2015 political campaigns as proven in court.
”That is not to say every succeeding government, more so one led by a Buhari will do the same.”
The presidential aide added that, barring considerations of national security, the details of the stage of implementation, the procurements made and the suppliers will be obtained and made available on Monday.