Budgetary Allocation To Defence Laughable - Sen. Ndume
The Chairman, Senate Committee on Navy, Sen. Mohammed Ndume, says allocating less than one per cent of the 2020 budget to defence is a sign Nigeria is not ready to win the war against insurgency.
Ndume said this while addressing journalists on Tuesday in Abuja soon after he addressed the senate.
“The summary of this is that we are in a war, and as I just addressed the senate now, when you are in a war situation and you are budgeting N10.33 trillion and you are allocating less than 1 per cent to defence, that does not show that we are serious about this.
“ Defence not army is allocated N100 billion, that is less than 1 per cent
“ I was hoping that it was 10 per cent so when I did the calculation, it is less than 1per cent because 1 per cent of N10.33trn should be N130million, isn't it? ''
Ndume decried the rising humanitarian crisis that accompanies insurgency, pointing out that pressure is put on the government and closed community as Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) move from one place to another.
According to him, the International Community is requesting from the International donors 848million dollars for humanitarian service in North-east.
''The International community so far have requested from the international donors 848 million dollars, so far the international community where they are not affected, they are just helping us.
''Have so far donated 547 million dollars that translates to over N140 billion, while the Nigerian government that this thing is directly affecting is budgeting N38billion for North-East Development and Humanitarian.
'' Let's even put it together, the Social Intervention, that is for the Ministry that has recently been created, their budget is N30billion.
'' So, if you look at this, and looking at what our constitution says, the main purpose of government is security and welfare of its citizens, if that is so, in a budget of N10.3trillion more than half of it or even half of it should go to secure the country is worth it.''
Ndume commended the unparalleled commitment of the armed forces in the fight against insurgency, noting that despite the conditions they find themselves, they remain patriotic in the fight to protect citizens.
The senator debunked the rumours on alleged mass burials happening in the armed forces, saying the senate committee was in Maiduguri to confirm it was not true.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Senate Committee on Army recently visited Maiduguri and some formations in the North-East. (NAN)