Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, yesterday, said the $1bn that state governors asked the Federal Government to withdraw from the Excess Crude Account was not meant for the fight against insurgency alone.
He said the sum was meant for all security challenges being experienced in all the states of the federation.
Osinbajo gave the clarification at the opening of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation/Secretaries to State Governments’ retreat at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The Chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum; Abdulaziz Yari, announced at a meeting of the National Economic Council last Wednesday, that the governors had asked the Federal government to withdraw $1bn from the ECA to fight insurgency.
The decision had attracted criticisms from groups and individuals, including the Ekiti State Governor; Ayodele Fayose, and the opposition Peoples Democratic Party.
But Osinbajo explained that the state governors resolved to approve the money for national security after a national security summit organised by the NEC about two months ago.
He explained that the summit considered various security challenges across the country, including kidnapping, small arms trafficking, terrorists’ activities of Boko Haram in the North-East, clashes between herdsmen and farmers as well as cattle rustling.
The Vice-President added, “It was on account of the security summit that the governors at the Governors’ Forum subsequently decided that they would vote a certain sum of money, which has become somewhat controversial, the $1bn, to assist the security architecture of the country.
“It was to assist all of the issues in the states, including policing in the states, community policing, all of the different security challenges that we have.
“It was after the security summit that the Governors’ Forum met across party lines, again I must add, in order to approve and to accept that this is what was needed to be done to shore up our security architecture.”
He said greater engagements between the SGF’s office and the SSGs would lead to a better understanding of the management of the Ecological Funds and the National Emergency Management Agency, both of which are hosted by the office of the SGF.