2024 Budget: Lawan assures increased funding for DSA 

Sharon EboesomiDecember 15, 20234 min

Sen. Lawan promises to increase the capital budget of the DSA in order for it to function effectively

The Senate has expressed its commitment to ensure that the Defence Space Administration (DSA) receive sufficient funding in the 2024 budget to allow it carry out its mandate effectively.

This was made known by the chairman of the committee on defence, Senator Ahmad Lawan (APC, Yobe North), on Thursday, when officials of the DSA appeared before the committee to defend its budget estimates for the 2024 fiscal year. 

The senator said improved funding for the DSA becomes imperative in order to tackle the insecurity challenges confronting the nation. This is an opportunity for the Defence Space Administration to interact with the committee on defence to largely explain what happened in the 2023 Appropriation, how far you have been able to implement the projects as it relates to Defence Space Administration. 

“It is also an opportunity for you to disclose if you have benefitted from the supplementary appropriation 2022 in which special attention was given to the defence sector. Let me assure you on behalf of my colleagues, that this committee is going to work with your administration to ensure that you discharge your mandate successfully. 

“We believe you’re doing a good work already, but you probably need more resources and attention to ensure that you discharge your mandate optimally. We know the resources have not been sufficient, but we want to ensure that there is going to be reasonable and significant improvement to what you were getting before 2024.

“The idea of securing the country is never cheap and it is much more expensive when the country is already in a dire situation with so many security challenges all over”, Lawan added.

According to the chief of the DSA, Air Vice Marshal Ahmed Abdullahi Shinkafi, the sum of N6,284,786,717.00 was appropriated to the agency in 2023. Of this amount, N1,922,736,282 was for personnel emolument; N298,632,998, for overhead cost and N4,063,417,437 for capital projects.

Shinkafi explained that the amount appropriated to the DSA in 2023 for the execution of capital projects was used  for the development of the National Defence Space School, development of DSA town in Abuja, development of National Defence Space Communication Satellite Centre, and upgrade of software for Cyber Space Operations in DSA headquarters, amongst others. 

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Giving a breakdown of the budget estimate for 2024, he stated that a total of N10,756,136,620.83 was proposed for the next fiscal year. Out of this amount, N6,928,957,268 was for recurrent expenditure while N3,827,179,352 was proposed for capital expenditure. Shinkafi however, stressed that the proposed amount budgeted for the capital expenditure was grossly inadequate.

He said: “It is pertinent to state that some products and services such as satellite imagery, personnel/assets tracking as well as Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Intelligence Surveillance an Reconnaissance (SR) Imaginary were already procured by DSA and have been used to support the ongoing counter insurgency operations across the country.

“These products and services have contributed immensely to some of the successes being recorded in these internal security operations. It is noteworthy to observe that these acquisitions translate to huge maintenance cost. Hence, the need to upscale the capital allocation for effective usage of these critical national strategic assets cannot be underestimated. This would ultimately make them effective for geospatial data capturing and analysis towards enhancement of national Security,” Shinkafi explained.

In a related development, the Director-General of the Defence Research and Development Bureau, Major-General Emmanuel Ndagi, while also appearing before the defence committee to defend the bureau’s 2024 budget estimates, lamented that “the fixing of a budget ceiling has not been favourable to the bureau in its annual budgetary allocation.”

Sharon Eboesomi

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