$1b Not Too Much For Security Matters – Presidency
"Human life is much more expensive".
The presidency in Nigeria has dismissed insinuations that $1 billion was too much to be expended on security matters while the nation had other issues needed to be tackled with funds.
After President Muhammadu Buhari approved the withdrawal of $1 billion from the Excess Crude Account to military equipment needed to tackle security challenges in Nigeria, critics raised concerns.
The opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Thursday condemned the approval, insisting that it was made without recourse to the National Assembly.
The party made the condemnation in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Mr Kola Ologbondiyan, in Abuja.
But the presidency through Mr Femi Adesina, a spokesman for President Buhari, said those opposing or criticising President Buhari’s approval of $1 billion for security funding are only playing politics with the lives of Nigerians.
The Minister of Defence, retired Brigadier General Mansur Dan-Ali, had on Wednesday revealed that President Buhari had granted assent for the release of the fund for the procurement of security equipment to fight insecurity.
In an interview on national television, Mr Adesina, responding to the PDP’s condemnation of the approval, said that proper procedures for the release of the fund were being followed.
He says the amount is not too much to tackle security matters in Nigeria.
"No government could quantify the amount of funds being spent to ensure security as no individual or government could quantify the value of human lives.
"It is not something that I think any government could begin to disclose. But we know that it is expensive. I remember that the Chief of Army Staff spoke about some trillions of naira recently – security is expensive but human life is much, much more expensive," the president’s spokesman stated.
According to him, the president will soon communicate to the National Assembly through the Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly matters about the matter.
He said: “As we speak now the communication to the National Assembly is about ready.
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"Those who have been flexing muscles over the matter should have made inquiries from the Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly matters.
"If they had inquired, they would have been told that the communication would soon be on the way to the National Assembly.
"Talking about the timing, there is no timing that is not good for security. Every time is security time.
"Those who are reading political meaning into it is just unfortunate they play politics with everything and they will play politics with the very lives of Nigerians, which is very bad".