Presidency dismisses PDP’s claims on $1bn security fund, gives breakdown of spending

Presidency dismisses PDP’s claims on $1bn security fund, gives breakdown of spending

- The presidency dismissed PDP's allegation that $1bn security fund withdrawn from Excess Crude Account was spent on the 2019 elections

- The PDP had accused the Buhari-led administration of diverting the fund meant for procuring arms to finance the 2019 elections campaign

- Presidential spokesman Garba Shehu, however, explained how the money was spent and, barring considerations of national security, promised to make a break down available

The presidency has reacted to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)'s allegation that the one billion dollars drawn from the Excess Crude Account (ECA) was spent by the Muhammadu Buhari administration on the 2019 general elections.

The PDP had in a statement on Sunday, July 21, asked President Buhari to explain to Nigerians what his administration had done with one billion dollars drawn from the ECA in 2017 which was meant to address the nation’s security challenges.

The money was approved by the National Economic Council in December 2017 for the purchase of weapons to fight insurgency across the country.

READ ALSO: President Buhari is open to ideas - Garba Shehu

However, presidential spokesperson Malam Garba Shehu in a statement in Abuja also on July 21 said “this unverifiable allegation’’ clearly indicated that the PDP was suffering from socio emotional distress, according to a report by The Guardian.

He said the lead opposition party "thinks that all governments in the world run on the basis of freewheeling looting as they did their own".

Shehu further explained how the money was spent: ”Here is what happened to that 1,000 million dollars.

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

"Various other military procurements have been made. The balance of expenditure stands at about 880 million dollars or so.

"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.”

The presidential spokesman added that, barring considerations of national security, the details of the stage of implementation, the procurement made and the suppliers will be obtained and made available on Monday, July 22.

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Meanwhile, Shehu had earlier said the National Assembly’s delay in approving President Buhari’s request of withdrawing $1bn from the excess crude oil in purchasing arms for the troops led to inadequate funding to effectively fight the war against terrorism.

Shehu told Channels TV on Wednesday, April 24, that the shortage of personnel in the war against terrorism was the reason for the lack of security presence in some communities affected by insurgency.

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