The federal government Wednesday confirmed that President Muhammadu Buhari approved the purchase and donation of vehicles worth N1.4 billion to neighbouring Niger Republic.
The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, told journalists after Wednesday’s Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting that the donation was to help Niger address its security concerns.
She said such donations by Nigeria to its neighbours were common.
Ms Ahmed said it is the president’s prerogative to take such decisions after a careful assessment of the situation.
“Let me just say that over time, Nigeria has had to support its neighbours, especially the immediate neighbours, to enhance their capacity to secure their countries as it relates to us,” she said while answering questions.
“This is not the first time that Nigeria has assisted Niger Republic, Cameroon or Chad.
“The president makes an assessment as to what is required based on the request of their presidents. Such requests are approved and interventions are provided.
“It is to enhance their capacity to protect their countries, as it relates to security and also to Nigeria.”
Ms Ahmed said she understood the concerns of Nigerians about the matter since it became public.
“Nigerians have the right to ask questions, but also the president has the responsibility to make an assessment of what is in the best interest of the country and I cannot question the decision myself.
“I have said that this is not the first time and that Nigeria as a country has provided an intervention to our neighbours. It is in the best interest of Nigeria to do so.”