The Office of National Security Adviser (ONSA) has denied the reports on NSA Maj.-Gen. Babagana Monguno (Rtrd) saying funds meant for arms procurement were missing under the immediate past Service Chiefs.
In an interview with BBC Hausa service on Friday, Monguno had clearly said although President Muhammadu Buhari approved a huge amount of money for arms, the former service chiefs did not procure the weapons.
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“It is not that we are not working to end the security challenge in the country. The president has done his own part and allocated huge amount of money to purchase weapons but they are yet to be here. We don’t know where they are. I am not saying that the past Service Chiefs have diverted the money, but presently we don’t know where the money is,” he had said.
The statement had triggered different reactions, with critics of the government saying that there is massive corruption under Buhari.
But in a statement by the ONSA late Friday, Monguno claimed he was quoted out of context in the reports on the interview he had with BBC Hausa service.
The statement said the NSA said he only reiterated the Federal Government’s commitment to deal decisively with insecurity and Buhari’s commitment to provide all necessary support to the Armed Forces, including the provision of arms and equipment.
The statement read, “The attention of the Office of the National Security Adviser has been drawn to some media reports regarding Armed Forces equipment during an interview with the BBC Hausa service.
“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.”
It added that the NSA at the Aso Villa Media Briefing, said questions relating to Defence procurement should be channelled to the Ministry of Defence.
“All Security and Intelligence agencies are working together to bring an end to insecurity with the full support of Mr. President and Stakeholders including the media and civil society as part of a whole-of-government and a whole-of-society approach to address our security challenges.”