The Minister of Defence, Abubakar Badaru, has appealed to the National Assembly to increase his ministry’s budget for the 2024 fiscal year, saying the N1.57trn allocated to it was not enough to fight the insecurity in the country.
The minister made the call on Wednesday when he appeared before a joint National Assembly Committee on Defence to defend the ministry’s 2024 budget proposal.
Badaru said the rising cost of operations and the increase in the price of diesel and fuel necessitated the call for an increment of the ministry’s allocation.
In the 2024 budget, the Ministry of Defence was allocated N1.15trn for personnel; N116.5bn for overhead and N308.2bn for capital, totaling N1.57trn.
But the defence minister said the allocation was not enough to fight insecurity.
“I appeal to the distinguished senators and honourable members to review the ministry’s budget given the prevailing economic situation to enable the ministry to function effectively.
“You are already aware of the inflationary trend and the cost of diesel, petrol, and operational costs. The overhead is very low, and we urge you to support us to see how we can improve our overhead,” he said.
The minister said heads of military units consume large quantities of fuel and diesel to carry out their official duties.
He assured that all funds appropriated in the budget would be judiciously utilised.
“Instead of fighting in one sector, the bandits or insurgents run into another sector, that was the intent of the supplementary budget, and we assure the senators that we will track this expenditure and make sure the monies appropriated will be utilized fully, and we will account appropriately”.
The Chairman of the Senate Committee on Defence, Ahmad Lawan, said there would be no justification for huge budgetary allocation for the ministry if there was no improvement in security across the country.
He said it was paramount to establish how the money allocated to the ministry improved security.
“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,” he stated.