PMB Seeks Inclusion Of $496m Aircraft Fund In 2018 Budget
President Muhammadu Buhari has requested the House of Representatives to input the sum of N151, 394, 421, 335.00 in the 2018 Appropriation Bill, which is currently being considered by the National Assembly.
This, according to the President is part of the $1 billion approved to be released and utilised from the Excess Crude Account by the National Economic Council in December 2017.
The president, in a letter dated April 13, 2018, noted he granted an anticipatory approval for the release of the fund, for the purchase of a Super Tunaco Aircraft under the direct Government-to-government arrangement with the United States of America.
According to the letter, the anticipatory approval was granted in expectation that the National Assembly would not object to the purchase of the specialised aircraft.
The president, who said that Nigeria had for a number of years been in discussions with the United States government for purchase of the Aircraft, explained that the approval was finally granted by the United States government, but with a deadline within which part payment must be made, otherwise, the contract would lapse.
However, members of the House of Representatives yesterday threatened to impeach the president over the anticipatory approval.
The members alleged that the payment was done in clear breach of the constitution.
Speaker of the House, Yakubu Dogara had after a two hours executive session of the House read the president’s communications to his colleagues.
“In the expectation that the National Assembly would have no objection to the purchase of this highly specialised Aircraft, which is critical to national security, I granted anticipatory approval for the release of $496, 374, 470. This was paid directly to the Treasury of the United States Government.
I am therefore writing, seeking approval of the House for the sum of $496, 374, 470 (Equivalent to N151, 394, 421, 335.00) to be included in the 2018 Appropriation Bill, which the National Assembly is currently finalising.”