The Ministry of Defence has revealed how the controversial $1 billion released by President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration to procure arms was expended.
According to the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Defence, Musa Istifanus, the fund was released while waiting for the products’ arrival about three years after.
Istifanus, who stated this as a guest of honour at the Defence Industry Corporation of Nigeria (DICON) 2021 summit in Kaduna, added the procurement was to address the security threats bedeviling the country.
According to him, those raising dust about the funds were doing so out of sheer ignorance of how the funds were used for the purpose it was raised.
He said “The Nigerian Government had spent $1 billion in acquiring weapons for the war against it is facing.
“Some ignorant people say that they have not seen any weapon. I know where the weapons are. They are yet to come.
“We paid $496millon to the American government and it is getting to three years now, the Super Tucanos are yet to arrive. Last week, we received an email that it will come by 21st of July.”
Meanwhile, the United States has rejected plans to relocate its Africa Command (AFRICOM) from its current base in Germany to Nigeria or any other part of Africa.
TrackNews reports that the US was responding to a request from President Muhammadu Buhari to Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken, to consider relocating AFRICOM to Africa to assist Nigeria and other adjoining countries to combat worsening insecurity.
In an emailed response to The PUNCH, the US government rejected any plan to relocate AFRICOM from its current base in Germany to Nigeria or any part of Africa.
The United States Department of Defence’ Pentagon stated that previous studies have shown that the cost of relocating AFRICOM from Germany to Africa is very huge.
US Pentagon spokesperson, Ms Cindi King, also ruled out any plan to consider Buhari’s request in an ongoing global US defence review.
“It would be inappropriate to speculate on any future actions. However, at this time, moving this headquarters (AFRICOM HQ) to Africa is not part of any plans, but USAFRICOM’s commitment to their mission, our African and other partners, remains as strong today as when we launched this command more than a decade ago,” she said.