The plan by the National Security Adviser (NSA), Babagana Monguno, to buy arms worth $2.51 billion from UAE in 2017 was stopped by President Muhammadu Buhari.
President Buhari stopped the deal after the late Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari, told him that the would-be suppliers are commission agents.
Kyari also told the President that there are issues with the contract Monguno signed with the International Golden Group (IGG), the Abu Dhabi-based arms supplier on March 27, 2017.
Also, following an N14 billion mark-up in an equipment purchase contract for the police by the office of the NSA in 2019, Buhari directed that henceforth, only the Ministry of Police Affairs and the Ministry of Defence should be involved in arms procurement.
According to TheCable, Buhari had earlier instructed that no third parties or agents should be involved in arms purchase, maintaining that it must be a country-to-country transaction.
This effectively ended the involvement of the office of NSA in the process, a development believed to have affected his relationship with the President, Kyari and Service Chiefs.
In a letter dated April 5, 2017, Monguno had sought Buhari’s approval to pay $627 million “within eight days” to IGG as the 25 percent deposit for the supply of arms, ammunition, and equipment to Nigerian armed forces.
Monguno also requested that the payment should be made from the excess crude account (ECA).
Meanwhile, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), which was to make the money available, complained to the president that if the bank had to make a payment of $2,511,962,370 to IGG, the nation’s external reserves position would be threatened and they would not be able to defend the naira.
The CBN also expressed fears that the payment could be blocked by the US because of the intermediaries involved.
However, Buhari restated his directive that third parties or commission agents should not be involved in the purchase of arms.
Source: Naija News