The National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno, says he was quoted out of context in an interview with the BBC Hausa on Friday, where he said funds meant for arms procurement during the past service chiefs were missing.
He said in a statement Friday evening that what he meant to say during the interview was that President Muhammadu Buhari had provided enormous resources for arms procurement but the orders were either inadequate or had yet to be delivered and that did not imply that the funds were misappropriated under the former Service Chiefs.
“The NSA also informed the reporter that, Mr President is following up on the procurement process as is usual with contracts relating to military equipment, in most cases the process involves manufacturing, due diligence and tedious negotiations that may change delivery dates,” he said.
Monguno had said during the BBC Hausa interview that the newly appointed service chiefs assumed office, they did not find the weapons that their predecessors ought to have purchased.
The presidential aide said Buhari has done his best by approving billions for arms purchase but the equipment was not forthcoming.
He however explained that “now that he (Buhari) has brought new people (service chiefs), they may likely articulate better ways.”
“I’m not saying the former service chiefs diverted the money, but the money is missing. We don’t know how, and nobody knows for now,” the security adviser said.
“The president will surely probe this matter. As we speak, the Nigerian Governors’ Forum too is also wondering where all the money went. I can assure you that the president takes issues of this nature seriously,” he said.
He added that “the fact is that preliminary investigation showed the funds are missing and the equipment is nowhere to be found.
“When the new service chiefs assumed office, they also said they did see anything on ground,” said the NSA.”