In a joint sitting of the Senate and House of Representatives committees on defence, Minister Abubakar Badaru unveiled the Ministry of Defence’s comprehensive plan to tackle insurgency and terrorism. The minister announced the intention to utilize both the 2023 supplementary budget and a portion of the 2024 budget concurrently for this purpose.
Minister Badaru, while defending the Ministry’s budget, emphasized the commitment to preventing terrorists from relocating to new areas and perpetuating their activities. He praised the consistent support of the committees in addressing insecurity and expressed confidence in the government’s ability to end the conflict, although specific strategies were not openly disclosed.
The 2024 budget allocation for the Ministry, according to Badaru, stands at N78.58 billion, surpassing the N62.9 billion allocated for 2023. He commended the National Assembly for their dedication to tackling insecurity and called for an upward revision of overhead costs in the 2024 budget, citing inflation and the rising cost of diesel.
“The purpose of the 2023 additional budget is to have simultaneous operations in all our theatres so we can end insecurity at once. 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 stated.
Senator Ahmad Lawan, the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Defence, asserted that the joint committee would diligently scrutinize the Ministry’s 2024 proposal. He emphasized the crucial role of security as the foundation for education, the economy, and other essential functions, advocating for additional resources to effectively address the challenges of insecurity.
Lawan stressed that it was not enough to merely approve funds; there should be a focus on how allocated funds would impact and improve the prevailing security situation. “If you are given N100 billion, how has it improved the security situation in the country? It will not augur well to appropriate money without justification,” he emphasized.
Acknowledging the efforts of security agencies, Lawan praised their dedication to ensuring the nation’s safety. Representative Babajimi Benson, Chair of the House Committee on Defence, affirmed the National Assembly’s commitment to investing in security for the growth and development of the country.
He highlighted President Bola Tinubu’s promise to ensure the security of all Nigerians and pledged that the committee would ensure allocated resources add value, taking into account the challenges faced by the armed forces, including the recent bombing in Kaduna.