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Buhari President will seek NASS approval over release of $1bn - Presidency

The Federal Government is in the process of sending a draft bill to the National Assembly.

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President’s second term bid best for Nigeria, says A’Ibom APC play President Muhammadu Buhari (Wikipedia)

President Muhammadu Buhari's Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, has disclosed that the president will seek the approval of the National Assembly for the release of $1 billion for the purchase of military equipment to fight Boko Haram.

After Buhari presided over a meeting with the National Security Council at the Presidential Villa on Wednesday, April 4, 2018, the Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan-Ali revealed that the president approved the release of the fund which was withdrawn from the Excess Crude Account by the Federal Government.

Controversy has trailed the approval as the opposition People's Democratic Party (PDP), especially Ekiti State governor, Ayodele Fayose, has kicked against the process that led to the withdrawal of the fund.

While speaking on Channels Television on Friday, April 6, 2018, Shehu said the Federal Government is in the process of sending a draft bill to the National Assembly for consideration and approval in accordance with the constitution.

He said, "The process has begun, it's not concluded, therefore, everyone will be involved. Mr President will not breach the constitution of this country. Approval at that level is granted, there is nothing controversial.

"The attorney-general will bring a draft bill to FEC, the president will approve and then say take it to the national assembly. The draft budget before it got to the national assembly, the FEC signed and approved it."

$1 billion will fight all issues of insecurity

The Buhari-led government has been accused of trying to loot the $1 billion to fund the president's re-election bid in next year's election as critics fail to see the reason in using the enormous amount to fight a terrorist group that the government has claimed several times has been defeated.

However, according to Shehu, the $1 billion is not just for combating Boko Haram, but other issues of insecurity in the country.

He said, "People will say when you've defeated Boko Haram why do you need funds but if you check around, all over the world, the countries do most spending in peace time.

"There is police and there is also the military. It's going to touch on every aspect of security in the country. We are not talking about buying footwear or uniforms which is routine. We'll re-equip the military that has depleted much of its stock fighting criminality, insurgency and terrorism across the country.

"We need this money to restock. The Nigerian army, the police, they ought to have arms that they can use in situations where they are needed. It's not as if we have no idea of what to do with this money, it is also true there is still some finishing jobs to be done to Boko Haram."

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