Adewole Adebayo, presidential candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), says the federal government claim that it does not have money to meet the demands of striking university lecturers is false.
This is as he chastised the decision of President Muhammadu Buhari on the procurement of vehicles worth N1.14 billion for Niger Republic.
On Tuesday, David Hundeyin, a journalist, released a document online indicating that the president approved the sum of N1.14 billion for the contract, awarded to IFO Kaura Motors Nig. Limited, to supply 10 units of Toyota Land Cruisers to Niger Republic.
On Wednesday, Zainab Ahmed, minister of finance, budget and national planning, confirmed that Buhari approved the fund for Niger Republic on the basis of security.
Speaking on the development during an interview on Channels TV, Adebayo, who is the founder of KAFTAN Television, said the procurement of the vehicles shows that the federal government is not cash-strapped as being insinuated in some quarters.
The SDP presidential candidate said it is a “disaster” for Buhari to take such a decision at a time when Nigerians are battling hunger.
“Money is not the problem of Nigeria. People have been saying the government is broke. The government is not broke. I have been saying this for many months now,” Adebayo said.
“The government is not broke. The government is broken, so the money of the government is now entering private hands.
“ASUU money is even there. I hope nobody believes that the reason ASUU is on strike is because the government has no money. No! ASUU is on strike because the government has money and people in government want to keep spending that ASUU money. They don’t want to give it to the university. It is not as if there is no money for ASUU.
“The government also has money for military hardware; what they have not been managing is the procurement discipline, accountability and monitoring. That is where the problem lies.
“If it is done for security, even the minister of finance who is approving it will not even know what she is approving. Ideally, it will come under an omnibus budget for an agency that is responsible for that kind of operation.
“What they did looks like a gift being given by the president of Nigeria to a foreign country at a time when Nigerians are hungry, when Nigerians are looking for the basic living. It is a disaster.