The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately ask Niger Republic authorities to refund the N1.4 billion approved for them to buy vehicles.
The Nigerian government has confirmed that it approved the purchase of vehicles to tackle insecurity.
Minister of Finance, Budget, and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, confirmed this on Wednesday, explaining that providing intervention to the neighbouring country is not new and is the prerogative of the president.
She added that the financial support, which is primarily to enhance the capacity to protect Niger’s territory, based on a request by the Nigerien government, is also in the best interest of Nigeria.
‘Over time, Nigeria has had to support its neighbours, especially immediate neighbours, to enhance their capacity to secure their country as it relates to us’, Ahmed said.
However, SERAP, in a tweet, condemned the president’s action, saying the money ought to have been used to meet part of the demands of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
The lecturers have been on strike for over five months with no end in sight. This means that the children of average Nigerians and the underprivileged have lost a semester, and there are real possibilities that they might end up losing a session, for no fault of theirs.
‘The Buhari administration must immediately ask Niger Republic authorities to refund the N1.4 billion approved for them to buy vehicles, and use the money to offset the funding for ASUU, so that poor children can go back to school’, SERAP said in the tweet.
Fears continue to grow over youths’ loss of interest in education due to the prolonged strike as there are tendencies for them to venture into crime-related activities.
Photo source: Femi Adesina