Nigeria’s N2.74tn security budget inadequate –Rep

Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Defence, Babajimi Benson, has stated that the N2.74tn budgeted for security in the 2023 Appropriation Act is inadequate. He said the entire Federal Government budget with estimates totalling N21,827,188,747,391 is “insignificant” when converted to United States dollars.

Benson, who is representing Ikorodu Federal Constituency in Lagos State at the House, said this during an interview. He added that the capital component of the security budget, especially for the Armed Forces, should be pulled out of the current envelope budget system.

President Muhammadu Buhari had on Tuesday signed the 2023 Appropriation Bill, which the National Assembly passed on Wednesday last week, into law.

When asked if the amount allocated to security was adequate, Benson said, “As you are aware, the 2023 budget was signed yesterday. Of course, it is about N21tn and 13 per cent of it was earmarked for the Defence sector, which came to about N2.74tn. Yes, the money is huge. In fairness, you must continue to spend (on security). Show me a prosperous nation, you will see that security in that country is very high. The budget, though huge in naira terms; converting the money to dollars makes it a bit insignificant.

Describing the N2.74tn as “a good sum,” the lawmaker pointed out that the current budgetary system is not appropriate for the Armed Forces.

He also called for improved security funding, noting that the current budget for arms and ammunition is just about the cost of the 12 A-29 Super Tucano fighter jets procured by Nigeria from the US (with about $500m).

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