The Nigerian army has disclosed that it has not received the $1bn to fight insurgency in the North-East, which it was promised by the Federal Government.
The Director, Army Public Relations, Brig. Gen. Sani Usman who spoke on a news programme on NTA (Nigerian Television Authority), said the defence ministry had been working towards receiving the money from the government.
Recall that President Buhari in December 2017, promised to take the money from the Excess Crude Account, a decision which became a subject of controversy and debate in the country.
“People should understand also that this is a democratic system in which the procurement, and of course, the funding of defence-related issues take such a long time. Take for instance the issue of the $1bn approved recently by Mr President, up till now the process is ongoing.
“The Ministry of Defence is still pursuing the matter to the point that when it is done, the armed forces will definitely get more equipment, more arms and ammunition.
“To the best of our abilities, all the necessary equipment, ammunition and arms are being given. It is so sad and unfortunate that our troops came under enemy attacks on November 18, and we suffered causalities as we mentioned. Sadly, we lost 23 soldiers, and of course some of them sustained injuries.
“In respect of the effort, we are trying as much as possible to make sure that first and foremost we give timely and accurate information on all our activities and operations, bearing national security concern” Usman said.
While the Ministry of Defence said it could not confirm the receipt of the money, the Director of Press at the ministry, Charles Nwodo, told Punch;
“I have to check with the Department of Finance if the money has come. But I don’t have any information about such funds yet. Unfortunately, the man at the department in charge is not around yet.”