The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has petitioned President Muhammadu Buhari to request that the Niger Republic return the N1.4 billion that was paid to them for the purchase of government vehicles.
Wednesday was the day that the demand was made public via SERAP’s verified Twitter handle.
On Wednesday, the Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, stated that the federal government had approved N1.4 billion for the “delivery of 10 Toyota Land Cruiser V8 vehicles to the Republic of Niger.” This decision was made by the federal government.
According to the minister, Nigeria has always provided such interventions to its neighboring countries, including Cameroon and Chad, amongst a great number of other countries.
“Let me just say that over the course of time, Nigeria has been required to offer support to its neighbors, particularly the immediate neighbors, in order to increase the capacity of those nations to secure themselves in relation to us. According to what she had previously stated, “This is not the first time that Nigeria has aided the Niger Republic, Cameroon, or Chad.”
“The President will conduct an analysis in order to determine what is necessary based on the requests made by their Presidents. Requests of this nature are granted, and the necessary interventions are carried out. It is for the purpose of enhancing their capacity to protect their countries in terms of security, as well as Nigeria.
In addition, Ahmed stated that “Nigerians have the right to ask questions; but, it is the role of the President to make an evaluation of what is in the best interest of the country, and I cannot challenge the choice myself.”
Despite this, Nigerians have voiced their discontent over the distribution of cash in the midst of the nation’s challenges, such as the strike that has lasted for nearly six months by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
In response to this news, SERAP sent out the following tweet: “The Buhari administration must immediately ask the 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 that those poor children can go back to school.”