OrderPaperToday – The non-release of funds appropriated in the 2015 supplementary budget to the military to combat Boko haram actually aided the sect in its terror campaign.

This was disclosed by Service Chiefs during a closed door meeting with the leadership of the Senate and the chairmen of committees relating to security agencies on Wednesday.

According to a press statement by the media office of the President of the Senate, Senator Bukola Saraki, the meeting explored ways of empowering security agencies to win the war against the deadly sect.

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The Military chiefs, led by the Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Olonishakin, briefed the Senators on the various challenges faced by the military, particularly the state of their equipment which they said required serious upgrading and restocking.

The military Chiefs specifically complained that money appropriated in the 2015 supplementary budget was yet to be released thereby hampering their ability to fund their operations in the North-east.

The statement said: “Other issues that were discussed include the need to continuously increase the personnel in the three branches of the military and the hindrance posed by the procurement process which they said was very slow.

“The military chiefs also canvassed the need for the review of some laws governing their operations so as to make them able to respond to emergency situations they now confront in the North-east zones as well as conform with global best practices.

“The Senators assured the military chiefs that they will fast track the request for the review of the relevant laws being complained about by putting them on the Priority Bills list once they were given adequate information on areas that need to be amended.

“They also promised to take up the issue of release of funds raised by the military chiefs with the Ministry of Finance immediately. The committees on Defence, finance and appropriations have also been mandated to ensure that the issues raised by the service chiefs are taken care of in the budget.

“The Senators noted that at this point when the nation had recorded serious gains in the fight against insurgency, all hands should be on deck to sustain the tempo against the violent groups.

“The meeting was attended by Saraki, his deputy, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, Senate Leader, Ali Ndume, Deputy Majority Whip, Francis Alimikhena, Chairman, Senate Committee on Navy, Isa Hamma Misau and his colleague in the Committee on Air Force, Duro Faseyi. However, Chairman of Senate Committee on Defence, Senator Ahmed Lawan was absent.

“The Chief of Defence Staff, General Olonishakin led the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, his colleague in the Navy, Vice Admiral Ibok-Ette Ibas and the Air Force, Air Marshal Sadiq Abubakar to the meeting.

It will be recalled that the Senate on November 30, 2015, approved a supplementary budget of N574.5 billion, for additional recurrent (non-debt) expenditure for the 2015 fiscal year.

Out of the amount, the sum of N29.9 billion was earmarked as security vote for combating the Boko Haram.

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5 COMMENTS

  1. This was less than the amount Maina stole from pension funds! And significantly much less than the Dasukigate largesse. Corruption indeed is worse than terrorism /insurgency!

  2. They keep on deceiving the whole world that they are serious committed in fighting Boko Haram but can not release the amount budgeted for the war. Shame on PMB & APC.

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