N2.74tn security budget low –Reps panel


The Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Defence, Babajimi Benson, has said the N2.74tn budgeted for security in the 2023 Appropriation Act is inadequate.

He said the entire Federal Government budget with estimates totalling N21.83tn was insignificant when converted to United States dollars.

Benson, who is representing Ikorodu Federal Constituency in Lagos State at the House, said the capital component of the security budget, especially for the armed forces, should be pulled out of the current envelope budget system.

The lawmaker said this on Tuesday while featuring on ‘Your View’, a current affairs programme on TVC.

The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) 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 it to dollars makes it a bit insignificant.

“You must also be aware that personnel and other costs, the armed forces, is one of the agencies in the world that take care of you from when you join (them) till when you die. There is nothing that you buy from your pocket. Even your burial is taken over by the Nigerian Armed Forces. So, Mr President, in his kind wisdom, signed what is called ‘Manual of Financial Administration’, which is an enhancement of the welfare of men in service.

“These are our brothers and sisters who put their lives on the line to make us secure.”

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