Defence minister seeks increase in Budget allocation 


The Minister of  Defence, Abubakar Badaru, has asked members of the National Assembly to increase the ministry of defence budget for the 2024 fiscal year. 

The Minister made the appeal on Wednesday when he appeared before a joint National Assembly Committee on Defence.

Mr Badaru cited the rising cost of operations and the increase in the price of diesel and fuel as major reasons for soliciting the increament of the defence budget. 

In the proposed 2024 budget, the ministry of defence has an allocation of N78.5 billion for personnel and overhead costs.

But, the defence minister argued that the proposed allocation is not enough to fight insecurity challenges facing the country due to the economic situation of the country. 

“I appeal to the distinguished senators and honourable members to review the ministry’s budget given the prevailing economic situation to enable the ministry to function effectively. 

“You are already aware of the inflationary trend and the cost of diesel, petrol, and operational costs. The overhead is very low, and we urge you to support us to see how we can improve our overhead” Mr Badaru said. 

The defence minister explained that heads of military units consume large quantities of fuel and diesel to carry out their official duties.

He therefore urged the federal lawmakers to consider increment of the ministry of defence budget for the 2024 fiscal year. 

“Heads of brigades consume a lot of fuel, diesel, we appeal that this can be looked into”, the minister appealed. 

Mr Badaru assured that all funds appropriated in the budget will be judiciously utilised after the final approval.

“Instead of fighting in one sector, and the bandits or insurgents run into another sector, that was the intent of the supplementary budget, and we assure the senators that we will track this expenditure and make sure the monies appropriated will be utilized fully, and we will account appropriately”.

He also claimed that the defence ministry performed excellently in the utilisation of the 2023 budget.

“The budget utilization is 100%,” we had a release of 95% and a utilization of 92%. On the capital expenditure, we had a release of 94%, and a utilization of 74% which is also a very good achievement, before the year runs out, we will reach 94% utilization. We can say we have done well with our budget performance, we performed very excellently”.

Chairman of the joint National Assembly Committee on Defence , Senator Ahmad  Lawan, questioned why the safe school initiative of the Nigerian military is yet to commence despite the rising insecurity challenges in the country.