President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday ordered the release of $21 million (about N4.1billion) out of the $100 million pledged by Nigeria to the Multi-National Joint Task Force against Boko Haram.
Buhari, who gave the indication while chairing the African Union (AU) Peace and Security Council (PSC) meeting at the ongoing AU summit in Johannesburg, South Africa, said the order should be carried out in a week.
He said the order was in response to a decision by the leaders of the Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC) and Benin in Abuja to immediately fund the MNJTF with not less than $30 million.
“The member countries of Lake Chad Basin Commission and Benin met recently where far-reaching decisions were taken to immediately put into operation the Multinational Joint Task Force.
“To this end, the summit approved the immediate provision of $30 million for the Multinational Joint Task Force.
“Consequently, out of the pledge of $100 million which Nigeria made to the Multinational Joint Task Force, I have directed that $21 million be released within the next one week,” Buhari informed the AU.
He said he was pleased to note that Cameroon, Chad and Niger “are demonstrating this support.
“They are fighting alongside Nigeria under the umbrella of Multinational Joint Task Force to defeat Boko Haram.”
Buhari observed that the continent was inundated with crises of various forms which required urgent attention.
“We are witnesses to the rampant destruction of homes, roads, communication lines, vital infrastructure and displacement of persons not to mention the terrible loss of lives.
“This is true of the North East of Nigeria where we are dealing with the scourge of Boko Haram.
“The Boko Haram insurgency has extended its reach to Nigeria’s neighbours but is not necessarily limited to these immediate countries as terrorism is a global phenomenon with linkages across the globe.
“Given this dimension of global terror, it requires us to act accordingly in brotherhood and partnership to fight against agents of evil,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that at the LCBC meeting of Nigeria, Chad, Cameroon and Niger with the Republic of Benin, Buhari had asked the leaders to articulate their needs for onward delivery to the G7 group of industrialised nations.
The request was based on the promise by the G7 to support Nigeria in the fight against terrorism when Buhari honoured the group’s invitation to attend its last Summit in Germany. (NAN)