The Nigerian Government has spent over N7 billion on the ongoing deployment of troops and logistics support in Mali.
In addition, Nigeria has pledged a further $5m to support the rebuilding process in the West African country.
President Goodluck Jonathan, who stated these positions at a Donors Conference for Mali at the end of the 20th Ordinary Session of Heads of State and Government of the African Union in Addis Ababa, on Tuesday, January 29, informed the audience that Nigeria has deployed 900 combat soldiers and 300 Air Force personnel to Mali as part of the African-led International Support Mission in Mali (AFISMA).
According to him, the sum of US$5.5 million out of the $34m had been used for the re-construction and renovation of a number of medical clinics in the military barracks of some of the Malian Defence and Security Forces, as part of the Security Sector Reform (SSR) intervention.
President Jonathan said that $2million was spent on humanitarian relief and supplies, while the additional $5million pledge, which was in response to the call for more donations, was an expression of Nigeria’s commitment to the international effort to restore peace in Mali.
He added that Nigeria was part of the joint initiative being undertaken by 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 African-led International Support Mission in Mali AFISMA.
President Jonathan reasoned that though this initiative would be considered as rather belated, given the rapidly unfolding events in Mali, it was better to start now than to wait even a day longer.
“The collaboration between these four organizations on this initiative is a clear demonstration of international solidarity, sympathy and cooperation required for a definitive resolution of the Malian crisis which has serious international consequences”, he said.