‘We Provided What Is Budgeted’ – Finance Minister Explains Military Funding
The Minister of Finance, Budget, and National Planning Minister Zainab Ahmed on Tuesday said the Ministry provided budget funds for the Nigerian military in the last three years to fight insecurity in the country.
Ahmed during her appearance before the Senate Committee on Army said President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration prioritises funding of the military.
“The Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning and indeed the President prioritises funding for the Armed Forces of Nigeria. Apart from the fact that we try our best effort to fund what is provided for in the budget almost 100%, there has been a lot of instances where the security services go to the President to get a special approval and we still provide the funds.
“Perhaps what we are providing is not enough but the fact is we provide what is budgeted and we provide what is approved.
“In 2019, what was budgeted for the Nigerian Army was N19.6 billion, and N12.84 billion was released, representing 64.37 percent of the budget.
“In 2020 the total capital budget for Nigerian Army was N34.37billion and this amount was released 100%.
“In 2021, this current year, the total budget for the Nigerian Army is N29billion and so far, as of April, we have released N17.98billion which is 61.92 percent,” she explained to the Senate Committee on Army, led by Senator Mohammed Ali Ndume.
The Minister’s absence at the meeting scheduled for last Thursday, April 29th triggered the displeasure of the committee chairman who has consistently sounded an alarm that the Armed Forces are not well equipped to fight the war on terrorism and general insecurity.