The Muhammadu Buhari government picked the option of swapping the 82 Chibok school girls with Boko Haram prisoners over paying a ransom to the terrorist group.
According to The Nation, the government did not want a repeat of ransom payment, as the case was during the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan.
Apart from that, it took negotiators months to agree on swapping, because the two sides were consulting.
"As a matter of fact, the insurgents wanted ransom and the government had to weigh its implications," a source said.
"At the end of the day, the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari opted for swapping instead of payment of ransom to avoid a mistake of the past.
"The government also felt ransom could further lead to the acquisition of more equipment and ammunition by Boko Haram.
"Above all, the government was guided by the fact that swapping is in line with international best practices. Many countries, including the United States, have undergone some situations like this before.
"So, we saw swapping as cost-effective since Boko Haram has been largely degraded."
In response to a question, the source said: "Both parties agreed to manage the release of the girls in a no winner, no vanquished manner. We don't want to jeopardise the chances of freedom for others."