President Muhammadu Buhari will follow proper procedures to ensure the release of the $1 billion he recently approved for procurement of weapons for the Nigerian military to fight Boko Haram and other criminals, Femi Adesina, the special adviser to the president on media and publicity has said.
The Minister of Defence retired Brig.-Gen. Mansur Dan-Ali had on Wednesday told journalists that the President Buhari had approved the release of the one billion dollars fund for the procurement of security equipment to fight insecurity in the country.
The National Economic Council (NEC) had in 2017 granted approval to the federal government to spend the money the excess crude account to enhance the capacity of the armed forces to fight insurgency and other criminal activities.
But the revelation that the President had approved the use of the fund has been met with criticisms.
On Thursday, Senator Ben Bruce, the vice chairman of Senate committee on information told journalists that the President must obtain the approval of the National Assembly before the funds can be spent.
Also, the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Thursday condemned the presidential approval without recourse to the National Assembly in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Mr Kola Ologbondiyan, in Abuja.
However, Adesina told Channels Television on Thursday that the President will formally seek approval of the National Assembly for the expenditure through the Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly matters.
He said: “As we speak now the communication to the National Assembly is about ready. Those who have been flexing muscles over the matter should just have bothered to make 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,’’ said Adesina.
Adesina who said those opposing or criticizing President Muhammadu Buhari’s approval of one billion dollars for security funding are only playing politics with the lives of Nigerians added that no amount is too huge to be spent only on security matters.