By Johnbosco Agbakwuru
ABUJA—THE Presidency, yesterday, released more details on how $1billion removed from the excess crude account for security was spent.
Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, explained that the $876.9 million was already spent from the money domiciled at the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN.
Noting that a balance of $123,111,571.29 has remained unspent at the CBN, the presidential spokesman said: “Here is as much detail as we can provide at this time concerning the USD 1,000 million from Excess Crude Account. which withdrawal was authorised by National Economic Council, NEC.
“The record we have is that the Buhari administration paid $496,374,470 for a dozen Super Tucano fighter aircraft for the Air Force in a direct, government-to-government (no contractors or commission agents) transaction with the government of the United States of America. They are due for delivery in 2020.
“Various other military procurements for critical equipment have been made. These are for Nigerian Army and the Nigerian Navy, amounting to $380,513,958,71.
“These procurement include money for the purchase of Navy Lynx helicopters. Total amount spent so far: $876,888,428.71. The equipment paid for have due dates of delivery of between six months and two years. Balance of the money that is unspent as at today is $123,111,571.29.”
He said the entire expenditure involved in the exercises was on the basis of government-to-government procurement.
He said: “In cases where the Nigerian government dealt with equipment manufacturers, their home governments have in all cases given guarantees to the Federal Government.
“Again, it is important to stress that no contractors or commission agents has been involved in the procurement under discussion.
“All USD 1,000 million was domiciled in the Central Bank of Nigeria and to date, not a single dollar of it has been transferred to the Ministry of Defence or any other ministry, agency of government, individuals or political party office as was the norm under PDP administration.
“We note that PDP made so much of a report claiming that the National Security Adviser, NSA, had declared the entire amount of USD1,000 million missing. The NSA will not have said this.
“Without approval of end-user certification issued by his office, no arms can lawfully enter Nigeria.
“In these days of fake news, citizens, including political parties pretending to play the role of opposition parties, must be careful about the reports they work with.”