Nigeria Expecting 12 Fighter Planes From US – CBN Governor

A file photo of a Super Tucano.
The Federal Government had in February 2018 placed an order for 12 Super Tucano aircraft at a cost of $496 million.

 

Nigeria is expecting 12 Tucano fighter planes from the US as part of efforts towards fighting insecurity in the country. 

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Godwin Emefiele said this on Tuesday while fielding questions at the end of a two-day Monetary Policy Committee meeting in Abuja.

“About three years ago, the Federal Government and the United States signed a pact that resulted in a government to government acquisition of military equipment out of which we are expecting twelve Tucano aircraft or fighter planes that will help combat insecurity,” the apex bank boss explained during the event where he also expressed optimism that the country will overcome its security challenges

“I am aware that six of them are coming to the country in the months of July and August.”

The CBN governor’s comment corroborated a statement earlier made by the presidency on the arrival of the Tucano aircraft.

“Nigerian pilots and maintenance personnel are training on these planes. Currently, the construction is ongoing, which will house the aircraft,” Mr Garba Shehu, one of the President’s spokespersons tweeted in March, three years after the Federal Government (February 2018) confirmed that it had placed an order for 12 Super Tucano aircraft at a cost of $496 million.

READ ALSO: [Insecurity] Nigeria To Receive Six Super Tucanos In July

An Appeal To ‘Retreat’

Emefiele, lamenting Nigeria’s growing security challenges, said the economy would be greatly affected if the menace is not tackled.

“If you expect an economy to grow, the level of insecurity must be low because if there is a high level of insecurity, then the economy will suffer,”  the CBN governor added, urging bandits and other criminal elements to embrace peace and key into government’s economic policies.

“I would like to appeal to our brothers, who decide that they want to live in bushes and forests that they should please, begin to retreat, drop their arms and come and embrace Anchor Borrowers’ Programme,” he said.

“If they do so, it will help them but if they choose not to do so, they will be confronted by the security as this battle continues.”

A file photo of Central Bank of Nigeria Governor, Godwin Emefiele.
A file photo of Central Bank of Nigeria Governor, Godwin Emefiele.

 

Nigeria’s security challenges have worsened in recent times with virtually all regions battling insecurity, despite reassurances from the government and efforts by security agencies.

While banditry and kidnapping have become almost a norm in the northern regions of the country, assaults, and attacks on security formations in the southeast have also made headlines, raising fears over Nigeria’s capacity to tackle its security issues.

 

 

Drop Your Arms And Embrace Anchor Borrowers’ Programme, CBN Gov Appeals To Bandits

A file photo of Central Bank of Nigeria Governor, Godwin Emefiele.
A file photo of Central Bank of Nigeria Governor, Godwin Emefiele.

 

Central Bank’s Governor Godwin Emefiele has appealed to bandits to drop their arms and embrace the Federal Government’s initiative, Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP).

Emefiele while answering questions at the end of a two-day Monetary Policy Committee meeting in Abuja on Tuesday said embracing the programme will be of help to the bandits.

“I would like to appeal to our brothers, who decide that they want to live in bushes and forests that they should please, begin to retreat, drop their arms and come and embrace Anchor Borrowers’ Programme.

“If they do so, it will help them but if they choose not to do so, they will be confronted by the security as this battle continues,” Emefiele said.

 

Speaking further on security matters, the head of Nigeria’s apex bank said there is interconnectivity between security and economy, noting that, “If you expect an economy to grow, the level of insecurity must be low because if there is a high level of insecurity, then the economy will suffer.”

READ ALSO: New National Carrier To Take Off First Quarter Of 2022 – Sirika

He, however, expressed optimism over efforts by security operatives in combating various challenges facing Nigeria, announcing that the country is expecting six fighter aircraft before the end of the year.

“I am optimistic that the security operatives are doing their best to tackle insecurity,” the CBN boss noted.

“About three years ago, the Federal Government and the United States signed a pact that resulted in a government to government acquisition of military equipment out of which we are expecting 12 Tucano aircraft or fighter planes that will help combat insecurity.

“I am aware that six of them are coming to the country in the month of July and August. I am optimistic before the end of the year, around the year of the end, the security challenges confronting the country will substantially abate.”

The Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP) was launched by President Muhammadu Buhari in November 2015 with the aim of creating a linkage between anchor companies involved in the processing and Smallholder Farmers (SHFs) of the required key agricultural commodities.

Nigeria’s apex bank said the programme thrust of the ABP is the provision of farm inputs in kind and cash (for farm labour) to smallholder farmers to boost production of these commodities, stabilize inputs supply to agro-processors and address the country’s negative balance of payments on food.

The CBN initiative is to promote economic diversification and discourage over-reliance on crude oil earnings and boost economic growth.

Nigeria To Receive Six Super Tucanos Combat Aircraft In Mid-July – Presidency

A file photo of a Super Tucano.
A file photo of a Super Tucano.

 

Nigeria is expected to receive six of the 12 Super Tucanos ordered from the United States in mid-July, the presidency said on Tuesday.

According to presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu, 14 Nigerian pilots are currently training with the aircraft at the Moody Air Force Base in Georgia.

Mr. Garba posted a video of what appeared to be test-flight operations on his verified Twitter handle.

The video was credited to the Sierra Nevada Corporation, a private American aerospace firm.

The announcement comes after the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant-General Ibrahim Attahiru, appeared before a committee of lawmakers at the House of Representatives on Monday.

 

The committee is reviewing the purchase, use, and control of arms, ammunition, and related hardware by the military, paramilitary, and other law enforcement agencies in Nigeria.

READ ALSO: Arms Procurement Were Done By Specific Individuals, Invite Them – COAS Tells Reps

In March, the National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno had been quoted by the BBC as suggesting that funds for arms procurement had gone missing under the immediate past Service Chiefs.

The Office of the National Security Adviser later put out a statement saying Monguno had been quoted out of context.

But with an insurgency still alive in the country’s North-East and the increasing threat of banditry in North-West, critics have continued to question how well-equipped the country’s military is.

Mr. Shehu himself has admitted that the army has had some problem with procuring equipment, as they arrive “in bits and in pieces.”

According to Mr. Shehu, during an interview on Channels Television’s Politics Today last March, procurements made have not been fully delivered.

“In August 2018, they allowed the Nigerian government to buy 12 super Tucano aircraft suitable for the kind of war we are fighting in the North-East,” he said at the time.

“In addition to that, other arms of the military have also made procurements. The navy has done nearly 100 percent of their procurement — equipment delivered.

“The airforce has bought a number of attack helicopters — 35 helicopters from Ukraine. Some of them have been commissioned on national television.

“We have bought a lot of drones, but with the army, there have been problems with procurement. Equipment has been coming bits and in pieces.

“This is not ideal. In fact, our biggest procurement is coming from the UAE. As I speak to you now, it is held up in a situation only diplomacy will resolve. We were talking to them last week; the Nigerian minister of defence actually had a meeting with the ambassador of the UAE to Nigeria, and the idea is to resolve this so that the equipment held up will be released. We need them here.”

$496m Aircraft Purchase: Senators Call For Buhari’s Impeachment

U.S. Accuses FG Of Failing To Stop Human Rights Abuses, Impunity
File photo: President Muhammadu Buhari

 

Some Senators have called for the impeachment of President Muhammadu Buhari over the purchase of the $496m super Tucano fighter jets.

The Senators during plenary on Thursday asked Senate President Bukola Saraki to invoke Section 143 of the constitution in view of President Buhari’s approval of the extra-budgetary spending of 496 million dollars to purchase the aircraft.

In a motion moved by the Chairman Senate Committee on Public Account, Senator Mathew Urhogide, is of the opinion that “It’s a violation of Section 80 subsection 1, 2, 3, 4.

“The procedure of the expenditure is wrong. There ought to be an appropriation before such expenditure.

“I hereby request that the Senate President should invoke Section 18 of the Constitution.”

Mr Urhogide cites Orders 15, 42 & 52, says this matter should be forwarded to the appropriate committee.

“The President’s request is wrong, it’s a violation of our process, proceedings and the 1999 Constitution (as amended)”.

Senators Chukwuka Utazi and Sam Anyanwu also backed Senator Urhogide on the call for Buhari’s impeachment.

According to Senator Utazi “I rise to second this motion with Section 80 subsection 2 and 3. We are still on the appropriation bill, we have not finished it, Service chiefs were appointed without the approval of the Senate.”

”These Tucano helicopters are to be brought in 2020, why include it now in appropriation.

“This is an impeachable offence.”

Meanwhile, Senator Abu Ibrahim has disagreed with the call for the President’s impeachment arguing that since the establishment of the excess crude account, no government has ever sent a formal request to the National Assembly for approval for appropriation of funds.

But the other Senators are of the opinion that Section 143 deals with the impeachment of the President.

The purchase of the Tucano aircraft raised many concerns to Nigerians as the House of Representatives was in a rowdy session over the presidential request to include the $496million fund for the purchase in the 2018 Appropriation Bill before the National Assembly.

To this move, the Senate has directed its Committee on Judiciary to find out if any infraction was committed by President Buhari in his approval and direction for the release of the funds for the purchase of the aircraft.

The Senate asked the committee to report back its findings on Wednesday, May 3rd.