$1bn ECA Fund: Presidency reacts to claims

Timothy Choji, Abuja 

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The Presidency has reacted to the claims by Nigeria’s main opposition party, the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, that government spent the $1 billion meant for arms purchase on the 2019 election.

In a strong worded reply to the PDP on Sunday evening, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity Garba Shehu said the money was not spent on election.

He gave a breakdown of how the money was spent.

“We are reacting to PDP that the USD drawn from the excess crude oil account was spent by Buhari on 2019 elections.

“The PDP is under a socio-emotional distress.

“They think that all governs in the world run on the basis of freewheeling looting as they did their own.

“Here is what happened to that USD 1,000 million.

“It’s on record that the Buhari administration paid about USD 490 million for a dozen Super Tucano fighter aircraft in a direct, government-to-government (no Contractors or Commission Agents) transaction with government of the United State.”

The Presidential Spokesperson further said that:

“Various other military procurement have been made. Balance of expenditure stands at about USD 880 million or so.

Barring considerations of national security, the details of the stage of implementation, the procurement made and the suppliers will be obtained and if your story can wait until tomorrow Monday, a work day, we can give you more or all of the details.”

Shehu concluded: “The PDP spent Defence procurement funds on their failed 2015 political campaigns as proven in court. That is not to say every succeeding government, more so one led by a Buhari will do the same.”

Omolayo.A