Daily Trust (Abuja)

30 January 2013

Nigeria: FG to Spend N8 Billion On Mali Operation

The Federal Government is to spend about $41 million (about N8 billion) on the military operation in Mali aimed at dislodging rebels that had captured the northern parts of the country last year.

Speaking at a donors' conference at the African Union summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia yesterday, President Goodluck Jonathan said Nigeria has committed about N7billion to deployment of troops and logistics and has made pledge to spend additional $5 million as assistance to Mali.

The president said Nigeria has deployed 900 soldiers and 300 Air Force personnel to Mali as part of the African-led International Support Mission in Mali (AFISMA) which is combating the insurgents.

He said Nigeria has also undertaken re-construction of a number of medical facilities in Malian military barracks as part of the Security Sector Reform (SSR) intervention which cost it $5.5 million.

The president expressed support for the joint initiative being led the African Union (AU), Economic Community for West African States (ECOWAS), the European Union (EU) and the United Nations (UN) aimed at mobilizing adequate financial resources in support of the Malian Defense and Security Forces (MDSF) as well as AFISMA.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has also released $18.4 million to Mali under its Rapid Credit Facility.

In a statement issued in Abidjan on Monday, the IMF said the amount was approved by its Executive Board.

IMF Mission Chief in Mali, Christian Josz, also briefed newsmen on the disbursement to assist the crisis-ridden country.

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