After controversial donation of dates, Saudi Arabia donates $10m arms, relief aid to Nigeria

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has donated $10million arms and relief materials to Nigeria to cushion effect of humanitarian crises in the North East.

In June last year, the controversial donation of dates by Saudi Arabia to Nigerian IDPs was trailed by criticism after the consignment was diverted to market.

While others blamed the Saudi government for donating date fruits instead of arms for Nigeria to fight insurgency, other commenters lambasted Nigerian officials for selling the packages.

Nasir Bin Mutlak, the leader of a Saudi Arabian delegation who announced the latest aid package at the ministry of Defence, during a visit to minister of defence, Mansur Dan-Ali on Monday, said the aid package which is in cash and military equipment was aimed at assisting the IDPs in the north east in particular as well as other essential needs of the military.

“Our country (Saudi Arabia) and Nigeria have continued to have very good relationship. Our mission in the ministry of Defence is to help our brothers in the IDP camps in the North East.

“The $10million is from the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center and the Saudi Development Fund.

“It is meant to show solidarity with Nigeria in the fight against terrorism and to show support in aid of the IDPs who are going through some sufferings,” he said.

Mr Mutlak also said the delegation would visit the states in the North East affected primarily by Boko Haram to ascertain the level of support to be provided.

In his remark, Mr Dan-Ali commended the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for the huge support to Nigeria, noting that aside assisting in tackling challenges at IDP camps, it will go a long way in helping to acquire strategic military equipment needed to tackle the terrorists challenges.

“Nigeria really values the alliance between our countries to fight terrorism. As you may be aware, we have the Multi-national Joint Task Force MNJTF, comprising Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Benin Republic fighting to stop the spread and advancement of terrorism in the region.

“Consequently, the humanitarian crises goes even beyond Nigeria. We have refugees from Cameroon, Chad and Niger, worsening the already tough situation with IDPs in the country. Your intervention will go a long way in helping us tackle these challenges.

“However, I will still call on your government to consider other areas where you can still be of assistance because the challenges are enormous.

“These areas include provision of military hardware, Intelligence sharing and training”, the minister added.

Other members of the Saudi delegation are Khalid Bin Abdulrahman Al-Mani and Muhammad Bin Addidat Al-Namla