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Defence Ministry must justify huge allocations with improved security – Lawan

A former Senate President and incumbent Chairman of the Senate Committee on Defence, Ahmad Lawan, has said there will be no justification for huge budgetary…

A former Senate President and incumbent Chairman of the Senate Committee on Defence, Ahmad Lawan, has said there will be no justification for huge budgetary allocation for the Ministry of Defence if there is no improvement in security across the country.

Speaking on Wednesday when the Minister of Defence, Abubakar Badaru, appeared before the joint sitting of the Senate and House of Representatives committees on defence to defend the ministry’s budget, Lawan said the committee would work assiduously to scrutinise the ministry’s 2024 budget proposal.

He noted that security remained the backbone for education, the economy and others to function, adding that more resources should be given to defence to handle insecurity.

Lawan however noted that it was not enough to approve money, but that it was paramount to establish how the money allocated improved security.

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He stated, “If you are given N100bn, how has it improved the security situation in the country? It will not augur well to appropriate money without justification.”

The former senate president commended security agencies for working hard to secure the country.

Earlier, Badaru said the ministry planned to use its 2023 supplementary budget and part of its 2024 budget to end insurgency and terrorism simultaneously.

“The purpose of the 2023 additional (supplementary) budget is to have simultaneous operations in all our theatres so we can end insecurity at once,’’ Badaru said.

He said the ministry was determined to ensure that terrorists displaced from one location did not move to another location to continue their activities.

Badaru said he believed the Federal Government would end the war, but that he would not disclose its strategies openly.

He commended the committees for always assisting the ministry in its resolve to end insecurity.

The minister noted that the ministry’s N78.58bn appropriation for 2024 was higher than the N62.9bn for 2023, as he commended the National Assembly for its commitment to end insecurity.

He, however, called for an upward review of overhead costs in the 2024 budget in view of inflation and rising cost of diesel.

“We want you to help us increase our overhead cost. We consume a lot of fuel, and I appeal that this be looked into,’’ he said.

In his contribution, the Chairman, House Committee on Defence, Babajimi Benson, said the National Assembly would continue to make efforts to invest in security to ensure the growth and development of the country.

He said President Bola Tinubu had promised to ensure the security of all Nigerians irrespective of status. “You must work to deliver the goal of the administration,” he added.

He promised that the committee would ensure that all allocated resources added value, noting that lawmakers were not unaware of the challenges faced by the armed forces, including the recent “accidental” bombing (of civilians) in Kaduna.

He promised that the committees would ensure adequate funding within available resources to respond to the demands of the military.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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