Daily Trust (Abuja)

24 November 2012

Nigeria: Senate to Probe Defence Missions Expenditures

The Senate says it will soon visit all the Nigerian defence missions abroad to see how the Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA) has utilised the huge funds appropriated over the years.

The Senate Committee on Defence and Army disclosed this yesterday in Abuja during the budget defence of the agency.

Chief of Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA) Major General S. Y. Audu earlier told the committee that N11.6billion was voted for defence missions in 2012.

He said of the N10.3 billion proposed for 2013, N9.6billion would go for recurrent expenditure; while N665million would be spent on the various ongoing capital projects spread across all the 22 defence missions abroad.

But the chairman of the committee, Senator George Thomson Sekibo, said it was difficult to ascertain the utilisation of the funds released to some of the missions yet to be visited by the committee.

According to him, the financial burden of the missions are too much for Nigeria, hence the need for the committee to visit the missions.

"He said: "Every year, we approve funds for these defence missions, and we don't even know where some of the missions are.

They are in places we don't know or where we have not visited. So, between now and end of January next year, you must make an arrangement for us to visit the missions. We are not merely to sight the projects, but for us to assess the combat readiness of our Armed Forces".

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