The Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) to President Muhammadu Buhari, Maj-Gen. Babagana Monguno, has said that the NSA was misquoted on the interview with the Hausa Service of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC).
Monguno was quoted to have said that the government was not aware of how monies meant for the purchase of arms were spent under the immediate past Service Chiefs and could not also trace the arms they claimed to have bought.
But the statement noted that the NSA did not categorically say that monies meant for arms procurement were missing under the former service chiefs, saying: “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 NSA only reiterated the Federal Government’s commitment to deal decisively with insecurity and stated President Muhammadu Buhari’s continued commitment to providing all necessary support to the armed forces, including the provision of arms and equipment.”
“In the interview, the NSA 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 equipment, in most cases the process involves manufacturing, due diligence and tedious negotiations that may change delivery dates.
“As the NSA conveyed during the Aso Villa media briefing, questions relating to defence procurement should be channeled 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.”