By Tunde Opalana
Nigeria is at risk of losing $493m paid to the United States for the purchase of Super Tucano fighter jets over bad runway, the Senate Committee on Air force has said.
The Daily Times recalled that the Federal Government had paid $493 million in 2018 to the US company to address the Boko Haram and other security challenges facing the country.
However, the Vice Chairman of the Senate Committee on Air Force, Senator Mike Ama Nnachi, raised the alarm while presenting budget report of Air Force before the Senate Committee on Appropriation .
He told the lawmakers that that when the Americans came to inspect the Kanji runway, they complained that the Kanji runway does not have capacity to carry the Aircraft.
He therefore said there is need to make provision for additional N9 billion that will take care of the runway and Aircraft or else Nigeria will lose the money and the Aircraft.
The Vice Chairman said, “It is very serious issue, they are running around, they have gone to Finance Minister, they have gone to CBN, they have gone to Senate President. The money needed is not part of the main budget.
“Nigeria has already paid $493 million for the aircraft, and the officials of American company who came to Nigeria last week said that the Kanji runway is not capable to carry that fighter jets that Nigeria will forfeit the Aircrafts they mentioned about three countries which had been affected with that.”
In his response, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Appropriation, Senator Jubril Barau assured that its committee will look inward to make fund available to address the issue in the 2021 budget.