Tunji-Ojo calls for more funds to secure Nigeria’s borders

Sharon EboesomiDecember 6, 20233 min

 

The interior minister says the poor release of funds constrained the efforts of hardworking personnel of the immigration service to secure the country’s borders

Tunji-Ojo on Nigeria's borders
Minister of Interior

The Minister of interior, Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, has called for an urgent need to secure Nigeria’s borders in order to reduce the risks of insecurity in the country.

This is as he stressed that further delays in securing the border will amount to continuous threat to the country’s internal security. He therefore called for increased funding of the interior ministry and its agencies.

Tunji-Ojo disclosed these at the 2024 budget hearing with the National Assembly joint committees on Interior which held on Wednesday, December 3, 2023.

Tunji-Ojo told the legislators that the numerous entry points into the country was the biggest security threats Nigeria faces, saying “if you show me a nation that cannot secure its borders, I will show you a country that will never be able to defend itself.” 

On the ministry’s budgetary allocation, he called for an increase as well as full releases during implementation. In the ministry’s budget breakdown of N6,420,878,389,  N4,397,260,769 was proposed for capital projects, N809,321,561 for overhead and 1,214,296  059 for personnel costs.

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Tunji-Ojo pleaded for more funds in order to empower the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS). “We need to empower the Immigration Service to do more. That’s the truth. We need more funds for monitoring and evaluation. Having a capital release of about N300 million for the Ministry of Interior? I keep asking myself, is this a joke? N300 million is all that they released from January to November for the Ministry of Interior.

“So with the level of job protection that we need to embark on, with the level of advocacy in terms of religious issues that we need to embark on, in issues of alternative dispute resolution mechanisms that we need to put in place, in terms of the security framework and architectural development we need to do. And all these things, N300 million? Nigeria is a country of 774 local governments and even if we divide that money, it is barely N400,000 per local government. And there is no local government today that doesn’t have an immigration office.

The minister was accompanied by the heads of departments of the ministry and was heard in audience by senators and members of the House of Representatives, including Rep. Ahmed Abdullahi (APC, Sokoto), Senators Aliyu Wadada (SDP, Nasarawa West), Shehu Umar (APC, Bauchi South), Abba Moro (PDP, Benue South), Ezenwa Onyewuchi (LP, Imo East), Austin Akobundu (PDP, Abia Central), Saliu Mustapha (APC, Kwara Central), and Nwebonyi Peter (APC, Ebonyi North) amongst others.

Sharon Eboesomi

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