The Vice-Chairman of the Senate Committee on Air Force, Senator Mike Nnachi, says Nigeria may lose about N 190 bn paid to the United States of America for the purchase of Super Tucano fighter jets.
Nnachi, said this while presenting the 2021 budget report of the Air Force before the Senate Committee on Appropriation on Thursday.
Nnachi noted that the nation’s runway at the moment was not up to the standard and could not carry the fighter jets, adding that an extra N 9 bn is needed to curb the situation.
He told the lawmakers that when the Americans came to inspect the Kanji runway, recently, they complained that the facility could not carry the aircraft.
Obinwannem News gathered that the $ 493m was paid to the U.S in 2018 by the Nigerian Government, to recruit a US company to tackle insurgency and other security challenges facing the country.
“It is a very serious issue, the Airforce personnel are running around. They have gone to the Finance Minister. They have also gone to the Central Bank of Nigeria, and they have gone to meet the Senate President because the money needed was not part of the main budget.
“Nigeria has already paid $ 493m for the aircraft, and the officials of the American company who came to Nigeria last week said that the Kanji runway is not capable of carrying those fighter jets.
“The company said that Nigeria will forfeit the aircraft and they said about three countries had already been affected with that.” Nnachi said.
Howevere, Senator Barau Jibrin, Chairman of the Committee on Appropriation, said his committee will look inward to make fund available to address the issue in the 2021 budget.
Nwada Ugochinyere Onyechere reporting, Obinwannem News