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FG snubs ASUU, confirm gift of N1.4b for vehicles to Niger Republic Gov’t

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The federal government on Wednesday confirmed President Muhammadu Buhari’s approval of a N1.4 billion vehicle gift to the Niger Republic.

A document retrieved from accountant general’s office on Tuesday had revealed the silent transaction, stirred criticism from Nigerians.

Just moment students have remained at home due to continued strike by ASUU, Zainab Ahmed, minister of finance, budget and national planning, confirmed the purchase, while fielding questions from BusinessDay, shortly after the week’s Federal Executive Council ( FEC) meeting presided over by the President.

The minister, who insisted that President Buhari reserves the right to take decisions in the interest of Nigeria, added that “this was not the first time the country is providing such interventions to her neighbors.

Ahmed also noted that it is the President’s prerogatives to take such decisions after a careful assessment of the situation

“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 has assisted Niger Republic, Cameroon or Chad,” the minister said.

“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 right 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.”

Report had indicated that Buhari approved about 10 Toyota Land Cruiser vehicles to the Republicans of Niger, but did not specify the purpose for such approval.

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