“We Have to Support Our Neighbors” – FG Defends SUV Gifts to Niger Republic

"We Have to Support Our Neighbors" - FG Defends SUV Gifts to Niger Republic

“We Have to Support Our Neighbors” – FG Defends SUV Gifts to Niger Republic

“We Have to Support Our Neighbors” – FG Defends SUV Gifts to Niger Republic: The Federal Government has finally reacted to the backlash following its purchase of security vehicles for Niger Republic.

The presidency, as revealed by David Hundeyin, had purchased 10 security vehicles for Niger Republic at the cost of N1.145 billion, making breaking news yesterday.

There have been criticism over the Federal Government’s generosity to the neighbouring country as some have questioned why such money should be given to Niger Republic when public universities in Nigerian remain closed for about five months over the inability of the government to meet up with the demands of staff.
The outrage was generated by the measure exposed by a popular social media influencer, David Hundeyin.

Report had indicated that the President approved the release of the fund on the 22nd of February, 2022 while the contract to supply the 10 units of Toyoya Land Cruisers was awarded to IFO Kaura Motors Nig. Limited.
Commenting on the issue, Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, argued that even though Nigerians have the right to question, President Muhammadu Buhari, who approved the purchase also has the right to make his own assessment on situations and act accordingly.

Answering reporters’ questions after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting presided over by President Buhari at the State House, Abuja, the Minister said Nigeria has a policy of assisting its neighbours to strengthen capacity to deal with insecurity.

Her words: “Let me just say that overtime, Nigeria has had to support its neighbors especially the immediate neighbors 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.

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“It is to enhance their capacity to protect their countries, as it relates to security and also to Nigeria.”

She added that “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.

“I have said that this is not the first time and that Nigeria as a country has provided an intervention to our neighbors. It is in the best interest of Nigeria to do so”.

Speaking on the memo presented by her ministry at the council meeting, Ahmed said “Today (Wednesday), the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning presented a policy memo to Council and the memo is on the National Monitoring and Evaluation policy for the country.

“The policy defines a framework for the institutionalisation of the practice of monitoring and evaluation (M&E) to promote good governance, learning and accountability for results that will contribute to improve socio-economic development of the country and enhance the wellbeing of citizens.

“The policy clarifies how M&E should be conducted in the country, specify the position, institutional and financial arrangements and the modalities for feedback, especially from citizens so that decision makers can make effective use of evidence by government and stakeholders to inform policy strategies and investment.

“The council approved the memo. This M&E policy was developed in close collaboration with the states, development partners, academia and several experts and associations of monitoring and evaluation in Nigeria.”

Also speaking, Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Mohammed Bello said Council approved the procurement of utility vehicles and accessories worth N2.68 billion for use by security agencies in Abuja as recent breaches of security continue to heighten anxiety in the federal capital.

He explained that the procurement include 60 Ford Ranger four-wheelers equipped with relevant gadgets, to be supplied by Coscharis motors, at a cost of N1.83 billion within two months.

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The second part of the contract is for E&S Tech. Limited. to supply various gadgets and accessories to support security agencies in the FCT, at a cost of N847.13million.

The Minister also said although the approval of the purchases was a regular gesture from government, it coincided with the aftermath of recent unprecedented security challenges in Abuja, including a major prison break and attack on presidential guards by terrorists.

His words: “Today at the Federal Executive Council, I presented a memo for the procurement of utility vehicles, and security gadgets and associated accessories to support the security agencies operating within the Federal Capital Territory. These items are 60 utility vehicles to be supplied by Coscharis Motors Limited, including communication equipment installed in the vehicles at the sum of N1,835,108,613.95 with a delivery period of two months.

“In addition to that, Council also approved supply of various security gadgets and accessories to support security agencies in the FCT and the company providing these items is Messrs E&S Technical Limited at the total sum of N847,139,764.57, making the total of these two procurements the sum of N2,682,248,378.52.”

On his part, Minister of Transportation, Mu’azu Jaji Sambo, said he presented a memo on the development of the Badagry Deep Seaport under the public private partnership arrangement (PPP).

He explained that the private sector will inject money for the development of the port and at the end of the concessionary period, the port will revert to the Federal Government through the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA).

“The project cost as contained and approved in council based on the final business case as approved by the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) in line with extant laws stood at $2.59 billion.

“It has to be developed in four phases with milestones and the concessional period of 45 years. Reversion is, like I said, to the Federal Government of Nigeria. This is to further the government’s goal of making Nigeria the maritime hub of the West and Central Africa sub-region.

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“This project, it may interest you to know, will also generate a total revenue of over $53.6 billion over the concession period. It will create about one quarter million jobs and also attract foreign direct investments to the country and help in improving Nigeria’s economy in general and the wellbeing of Nigerians.”

Asking question on the concern raised by some civil society groups that the worsening insecurity in the country may affect the 2023 election, Minister of information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said nothing would stop next year’s general elections.

His words: “There will be election I can assure you. The President has said that he has given the security all the needed support. The Service Chiefs are doing their best and will continue to do their best.”

Mohammed also disclosed that the Secretary to Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, presented a memo to procure operational vehicles for the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC).

According to him, the ICPC made a request to procure 25 operational vehicles; 13 Toyota Hilux 2.7 litres and Peugeot 3008 SUV for a total sum of N810,534,380.72.

He explained that: “The need for the procurement is based on the fact that the ICPC has increased its activities and this has been occasioned by improved management, expansion of scope of operations, through establishment of more state offices across the country, increase in personnel, among others.

“As you know, the ICPC, today, has also taken over supervision of consistency in projects. The memo request was approved and is to Messrs. Kaura Motors Limited.”


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