Babagana Monguno, the National Security Adviser (NSA), has denied saying funds appropriated for the purchase of arms went missing under the leadership of the immediate past service chiefs, saying he was quoted out of context.
Munguno in an interview with BBC Hausa had said the newly appointed service chiefs did not meet the funds approved for arms purchase when they assumed office in January this year. Although he did not accuse the immediate past service chiefs of misappropriating the funds, he said the money might have been used in other ways unknown to anybody at present.
Following the reactions that trailed his comment, his office released a statement on Friday night, March 12 saying he was quoted out of context.
The statement reads
“We would like to state that the NSA was quoted out of context as he did not categorically say that funds meant for arms procurement were missing under the former Service Chiefs as reported or transcribed by some media outlets from the BBC interview.
During the interview, the National Security Adviser only reiterated the Federal Government’s commitment to deal decisively with insecurity and stated President Muhammadu Buhari’s continued commitment to provide all necessary support to the Armed Forces, including the provision of arms and equipment.
In the interview, the National Security Adviser clearly informed the BBC reporter that Mr President has provided enormous resources for arms procurement, but the orders were either inadequate or 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 equipments, in most cases the process involves manufacturing, due diligence and tedious negotiations that may change delivery dates.
As the National Security Adviser conveyed during the Aso Villa Media Briefing, questions relating to Defence procurement should be channelled to the Ministry of Defence.”