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Niger Republic Denies Receiving N1.2billion Worth Of Vehicles From Buhari Government

The government of Niger Republic under President Mohamed Bazoum has denied receiving N1.2 billion worth of vehicles from President Muhammadu Buhari’s regime in Nigeria, contradicting a statement by Nigeria’s finance minister, Zainab Ahmed.

SaharaReporters earlier reported Ms Ahmed confirmed that Buhari’s administration transferred N1.2 billion to the Niger Republic on August 3.

The Nigerian government had claimed this was out of good neighbouring relations, despite the fact that Nigerian troops were grappling with poor weapons in protecting Nigerians from terrorists and bandits.

The minister had argued that though Nigerians had the right to question the rationale for such donation, Buhari, who approved the purchase, also had the right to make his own assessment of situations and act accordingly.

But the Nigerien Minister of Defence, Alkassoum Indatou, in a rebuttal to the Buhari government’s claim, revealed that the Maradi region received Hilux vans from Governor Bello Matawalle of Zamfara State, and not from the Buhari regime.

“The state of Zamfara has given five vehicles to the Maradi region, four of which have already been received; it is not the federal government as the Minister of Finance of Nigeria Zainab Ahmed declared,” said a translation of the French statement of a top Nigerien official familiar with the matter.

“The populations of Zamfara who are on the border with Niger call more on the Nigerien soldiers who respond to the minute than even those of their own country.”

Matawalle’s decision to gift the neighboring country Hilux vehicles may have been influenced by Nigerien soldiers’ prompt response to Zamfara residents’ distress calls.

The Buhari administration claimed in February that it had contracted Kaura Motors Nigeria Limited, with Fidelity Bank account 4010638472, to purchase 10 Toyota Land Cruiser vehicles for the Niger Republic for N1.2 billion.

The Nigerien government’s disclaimer of Buhari Government’s intervention package could strain bilateral relations and exacerbate the controversy surrounding the matter.

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