We will end insurgency, terrorism simultaneously–  Defence minister

ABUJA- The Ministry of Defence intends to use its 2023 supplementary budget and part of its 2024 budget to end insurgency and terrorism simultaneously, the minister, Alhaji Abubakar Badaru, said in Abuja on Wednesday.

“The purpose of the 2023 additional budget is to have simultaneous operations in all our theatres so we can end insecurity at once,’’ Badaru said.

He made the declarations while defending the ministry’s budget at a joint sitting of the Senate and House of Representatives committees on defence.

He said the ministry was determined to ensure that terrorists rooted from one location did not go to another to continue their heinous activities.

Badaru said he believed that the Federal Government would end the war, but would not disclose its strategies openly.

He commended the committees for always assisting the ministry in its resolve to end insecurity.

The minister noted that the ministry’s N78.58 billion appropriation for 2024 was higher than the N62.9 billion appropriation for 2023, and commended the National Assembly for its commitment to end insecurity.

He, however, called for an upward review of overhead costs in the 2024 budget in view of inflation and rising cost of diesel.

“We want you to help us to increase our overhead cost. We consume a lot of fuel, and I appeal that this be looked into,’’ he said.

In his submission, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Defence, Sen. Ahmad Lawan, said the joint committee would work assiduously to scrutinise the ministry’s 2024 proposal.

He noted that security remained the backbone for education, the economy, and others to function, adding that more resources should be given to defence to handle insecurity.

Lawan noted also that it was not enough to approve money, but it was paramount to establish how such monies changed the situation.

“If you are given N100 billion; how has it improved the security situation in the country’’? he queried.

“It will not augur well to appropriate money without justification,’’ he stressed.

The former Senate president commended security agencies for working hard to secure the country.

In his contribution, Rep. Babajimi Benson, Chairman of the House Committee on Defence, said the National Assembly would continue to make efforts to invest in security to ensure the growth and development of the country.

He said President Bola Tinubu had promised to ensure the security of all Nigerians irrespective of status, adding: “you must work to deliver the goal of the administration.’’

He assured that the committee would ensure that all allocated resources added value, adding that lawmakers were not unaware of the challenges faced by armed forces, including the recent bombing in Kaduna.

He promised that the committees would ensure adequate funding within available resources to respond to the desires of the military. (NAN)

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