Defence budget isn’t for security agencies to work in silos – Senators

Sharon EboesomiDecember 13, 20234 min

Members of the joint committee promised to increase the defence budget to ensure that the ministry and security agemcies are completely equipped to perform their functions

Defence budget
Defence minister and ministry officials at the budget hearing

The National Assembly joint committee on defence has told the minister of defence that budgetary allocations to security agencies should be of priority knowledge and coordination in order to avoid working in silos. 

This position was spearheaded by Senator Ahmad Lawan (APC, Yobe North) during the budget defence of the ministry on Wednesday, 13th December, 2023.

The senator, who chairs the senate committee on defence, told the minister that the entire defence budget of the federation ought to be under his purview instead of just focusing only on allocation to the headquarters of the ministry.

Sen. Lawan’s admonition was triggered by the presentation of the minister of defence, Mr. Badaru Abubakar, who focused on defending the 2024 budgetary allocation of the ministry alone during which he pleaded with the joint committee to review the overhead upward.

“The Ministry is totally committed in actualising its core mandate and I believe the Honourable Members and Senators will assist to achieve this mandate. On this note, I specially appeal to the distinguished Senators and Honourable Members  to review upwards the ministry’s overhead cost due to the economic situation in order to move the ministry forward,” the minister said

In a swift response, the senate defence committee chairman retorted: “You are the minister of defence not minister of headquarters; I think there is an anormaly here. You are supposed to be soliciting for all the agencies under your purview. It doesn’t make sense to me that the minister will be restricted to only defend the budget of the headquarters.

“The Minister is supposed to be in grip of everything, There is need for us to work together with the executive to sort this out.”

Sen. Lawan was supported his colleague, Sen. Joel Onowakpa (APC, Delta South), who pointed out that there is a gap in the minstry. He stated that if the minister is unable to defend (the budget of) every agency under his purview, it will result in the country’s security agencies working in silos.

 The senators however pledged to improve the allocation and ensure necessary materials for the ministry of defence and the agencies under it.

This assurance was supported by Rep. Babajimi Benson (APC, Lagos State) who chairs the House of Representatives committee on defence.

“No amount is too enormous in securing our territory and internal security. We need to do everything possible to ensure that you are adequately kitted and to ensure that at the end of the day  value for money is put at the front burner,” he said.

READ ALSO: Senate says allocation to information ministry insufficient

Other lawmakers present at the budget defence hearing were,Rep. Wale Raji (APC, Lagos State), Senators Adenigba Fadahunsi (PDP, Osun East), Natasha Akpoti-Uduaghan (PDP, Kogi Central), and Saliu Mustapha (APC, Kwara Central)

Sharon Eboesomi

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