The Presidency on Monday said there was no truth in reports that President Muhammadu Buhari had approved the purchase of equipment worth $1bn for the military. The Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate), Ita Enang, stated this while speaking with State House correspondents at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan-Ali, had told reporters of the approval at the end of a meeting Buhari had with security chiefs at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Wednesday. “What I can add, after all that I have said is to inform you that of recent, our leader, President Muhammadu Buhari gave approval for the purchase of more equipment for the military, worth $1bn,” the minister had said.
The reports of the approval had attracted criticisms from individuals and groups who hold the view that the President cannot approve the procurement without the input of the National Assembly. Enang admitted that Buhari cannot approve the said sum for spending.
He explained that having received approval from the National Economic Council for the money to be spent, the President held 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.
The legislative aide further explained that having collated the needs of each service and the amount involved, the President may 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.