Ita Enang, the senior special assistant to the President on national assembly matters on Monday said that Buhari has not approved the release of $1 billion from the excess crude account. He said the approval given to the federal government by the national economic council was undergoing the “normal legislative process” before the national assembly.
Recall that the Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan-Ali, had on Wednesday disclosed the release of $1 billion for procurement of security equipment to fight insecurity in the country after a three-hour meeting Buhari had with service chiefs and heads of other security agencies.
Femi Adesina, presidential spokesman, also said those criticising Buhari’s approval of $1 billion for security fund “are playing politics with the lives of Nigerians”.
However, Enang has issued a statement denying President Buhari’s approval of the fund. It read:
“In response to several issues raised about Security Fund sourced for at source from Excess Crude account to combat Security challenges in the country and the several misreadings attending same, may l state as follows: “That the said sum has not and cannot be approved for spending by Mr. President.
“That in accordance with best practices, Mr. President, having received approval of sum from National Economic Council made up of all the Governors, now had a meeting with the Minister of Defence, Service Chiefs and the Inspector-General of Police, among others to collate the need of each of the Services and the money available for appropriation
“That Mr. President and the meeting having collated the need of each Service and the amount involved may now present same to the Federal Executive Council for detailed Consideration, or in exercise of Presidential powers may communicate same to the National Assembly for appropriation.
“That this may be done as usual upon Mr. President Consulting prior with the Leadership of the National Assembly through the whole body of principal officers or the presiding officers of each chambers only, before originating the communication to the National Assembly