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Nigerians react as FG donates N1.14billion to Niger Republic

Nigerians react as FG donates N1.14billion to Niger Republic

There have been reactions from Nigerians after President Muhammadu Buhari’s government confirmed that it donated N1.14billion to the Republic of Niger.

Minister of Finance, Budget, and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, confirmed this to reporters shortly after Wednesday’s Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting.

According to Ahmed, it is to aid Niger in the acquisition of some operational vehicles.

She argued that even though Nigerians have the right to question the rationale for such donation, Buhari, who approved the purchase, also has the right to make his assessment of situations and act accordingly.

But Nigerians have questioned the rationale behind the gesture, particularly at a time when several government officials, particularly the finance minister, have consistently raised concerns over low revenues, poor oil income accrual to the federation account due to costly petrol subsidy, and worsening insecurity.

Expressing disappointment over the development, Tope Fasua, a renowned economist and CEO of Global Analytics Consulting, said: “l don’t have any two ways to say it. I think it’s more than obvious a child will know that we are in dire straits in Nigeria and whereas they would hide everything under insecurity and all, each one of those Land cruisers or whatever kind of car costs about N140 or maybe N150 million each; some things are just ridiculous.

“So I think Buhari has revealed to us the limits of how low we can go; a country that cannot feed its people is busy buying cars. This is actually in my view perhaps a small transaction but jarring and annoying all the same, given what Nigerians are going through. Buhari has not spent time thinking about the Nigerian issues, but it’s ridiculous really, and Nigerians don’t want to hear this kind of thing; it’s just very very annoying.”

Ken Ife, a professor and London Enterprise Ambassador & chief economic strategist in ECOWAS Commission, said the government’s action “is hardly justifiable in the current economic circumstance. You have to have a compelling case to take this kind of decision at this time.”

Many other Nigerians also described the action as ‘laughable’ and a misplaced priority.

Nigerians react as FG donates N1.14billion to Niger Republic

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