The Nigerian government finally gave some form of account for a $1 billion fund set aside to tackle Nigeria’s security challenges. The fund to be sourced from the country’s Excess Crude Account was approved by the National Executive Council in 2018.
The backdrop: Nigeria’s opposition People’s Democratic Party questioned the President Muhammadu Buhari administration concerning the utilization of the funds. The PDP expressed concern about the likelihood of mismanagement of the funds, following public revelation by the National Security Adviser, Babagana Mungono that he lacked knowledge of how the funds were applied.
According to the Presidency: $876.9 million has been spent out of the $1 billion security fund, per Presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu. He said that a balance of about $123 million ($123,111,571.29) is domiciled at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
- “$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.”
- He added that the sum of “$380,513,958,71” was spent on critical equipment procurements for the Nigerian Army and the Nigerian Navy. “These procurement include money for the purchase of Navy Lynx helicopters.
Why it matters: Recall that there was an initial controversy over the $1 billion ECA fund in April 2018 when the National Assembly discovered that the amount had been deducted without its approval.
The contradiction: With the presidency claiming that no single amount in the fund passed through any ministry, department or agency – it will be important to find out who exactly authorized all the amounts before they were deducted by the CBN. With the NSA denying knowledge of the fund, it appears that there is a crack in the wall within top security echelon. Or the presence of a shadow figure that has usurped the NSA and Minister of Defence. However, Garba Shehu (going against public evidence) said it was not possible that the NSA lacks knowledge about the fund.
“Without approval of end-user certification issued by his office, no arms can lawfully enter Nigeria.”
This means that someone within the presidency is definitely lying.