The Nigerian military has said it is yet to receive the $1bn promised by the Federal Government to fight the insurgency in the North-East.
Recall that President Muhammadu 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.
While speaking on a news programme on the Nigerian Television Authority, the Director, Army Public Relations, Brig. Gen. Sani Usman, said the defence ministry had been working towards receiving the money from the government.
Usman said, “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.”
The Ministry of Defence said it could not confirm the receipt of the money.
The Director of Press at the ministry, Charles Nwodo, told our correspondent on Friday, “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.”