From Lateef Taiwo
The Minister of Defence, Abubakar Badru has pleaded with the Joint Senate and House of Representatives Committee on Defence to assist through legislation the immediate upward review of the 2024 Budget for his Ministry.
Speaking during his appearance before the two committees at the National Assembly yesterday, the Minister who commended the lawmakers for their usual support and cooperation expressed the readiness of the country armed forces to sustain and overcome the ongoing war against terrorism and insurgency in the country.
Earlier, the minister who was interjected by the Chairman Senate Committee on Defence, Senator Ahmed Lawan over his prepared and long speech, informed that his ministry is totally committed to defending Nigeria territorial boundary as well as ending all kind of terrorism and sanitary in the country.
In his response, Senator Lawan said he was personally not impressed by the minister’s presentation where he had repeatedly made case for the defence headquarters instead of speaking for the whole defence apparatus in the country.
The Chairman House Committee on Defence, Hon Babajimi Benson in his welcome address had commended the ministry for sustaining the anti-terrorism fight in the country informing of the 10th National Assembly commitment to ensuring that they do the needful to support the Armed Forces to carry out their mandate to Nigerians.
Hon Benson while speaking also urged for produdent management of fund and resources from tax payers calling on the ministry to make sure that the 2034 Budget is fully utilize for the purpose through which such was meant for.
While assuring the House Committee’s readiness to critically scrutinize the budget estimates, he also said that the members are in agreement with the observations raised by the joint committee chairman on the budget.
Moreover the deputy chairman of the House Committee Hon.Abdullahi Kalambe said that envelop system of budgeting adopted by the federal government is not providing adequate funds for the security agencies to secure the country.
At the budget session, the Minister had presented an estimate of N735,811,643:93 as the 2024 budget of the Ministry of Defence headquarters and called for an upward review of the estimate to enable the ministry and it’s agencies address the nations security challenges squarely.
He also presented the review of the N62 billion 2023 budget of the Ministry and its agencies and the level of implementation under the subheads of recurrent, overhead and capital expenditures adding that the release is 100℅.
He added that the support of the Senate and House Committees on Defence had no doubt helped in no small measure in the fight against insecurity in the entire country.
The National Assembly Joint Committee which assured the public that it would properly scrutinize the budget of the ministry and all its agencies also resolved to go into executive session to appraise the budget documents before any appropriation of funds for the ministry.