From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
Despite outrage trailing Federal Government’s approval of the sum of N1,145,000,000.00 for the purchase of vehicles for Niger Republic, the government has justified the approval.
The approval was exposed by a popular social media influencer, David Hundeyin.
The document released by the media influencer showed that the president approved the release of the fund on the 22nd of February this year.
The contract to supply the 10 units of Toyoya Land Cruisers was awarded to IFO Kaura Motors Nig. Limited.
The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, while responding to questions on the issue, during the post-Federal Executive Council (FEC), 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 an act accordingly.
The said Nigeria has a policy of assisting its neighbours to strengthen capacity to deal with insecurity.
According to her, “Over time, Nigeria has had to support its immediate neighbours to enhance their capacity to secure their countries as it relates to us. This is not the first time that Nigeria is supporting Niger, Cameroun or Chad.
“The President makes an assessments to what is required based on the request of their Presidents, as such, the requests are approved and the interventions are provided, to enhance their capacity to protect their own territory as it relates to security also in Nigeria.”
Meanwhile, the Council has approved N2.6 billion for the procurement of utility vehicles and gadgets for security agencies operating in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja.
Minister of the FCT, Mohammed Bello revealed this while briefing State House Correspondents on decisions reached at Wednesday’s meeting, presided over by President Buhari.
He said: “Today I presented a memo for the procurement of utility vehicles, security gadgets and accessories to support the security agencies operating within the Federal capital Territory and these items are 60 utility vehicles, including communication equipment to be installed in the vehicles, to be supplied at the cost of N1, 835, 108, 613,.95 with a delivery period of two months.”
He also revealed that he also got an approval for the procurement of more working tools for security agencies responsible for securing the FCT.
“In addition to that, the council also approved the supply of various security gadgets and accessories to support security agencies in the FCT at a total sum of N847, 139, 764.57,” he added.
Bello said the support given to the security agencies was in line with the FCT administration’s policy of aiding their work, so as to enhance security within the territory.
On recent attacks in some parts of the FCT, the Minister assured residents that there are tremendous efforts by all relevant authorities, to ensure that the FCT continues to enjoy lasting peace.
The Council (FEC) also approved the sum of $2.59 billion for the development of Badagry Seaport under a Private-Public-Partnership (PPP) arrangement.
According to the Minister of Transportation, Mu’azu Sambo, it will be operated for a period of 45 years by the developers afterwhiich Nigerians will take over.
He added that during the PPP lifespan, the project is expected to provide about 200,000 jobs while generating a revenue of $56 billion.
He added that the project is expected to make Nigeria a maritime hub in West Africa.
The Council also approved a new policy for the institutionalization of the practice of monitoring and evaluation in Nigeria.
The Programme is to be known as the National Monitoring and Evaluation Policy.
Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Ahmed said the policy will go a long way to help improve the wellbeing of citizens and socio-economic development of the country.
“The policy defines a framework for the institutionalization 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,” she said.
The Finance Minister added that council approved the policy was developed in close collaboration with States of the Federation, development partners, academia and several experts as well as associations of monitoring and evaluation in Nigeria.