Nigeria: Military Gets N130 Billion for Anti-Terror Operations

The Federal Government on Friday said between the January and April, a total amount of N130.7bn had been released to the Ministry of Defence for military operations.

The Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, disclosed this while briefing journalists on the details of the 2014 budget which was signed into law by President Goodluck Jonathan.

The minister said the welfare of the military was one of the most important priorities of the Federal Government owing to its campaign against terrorism in the country.

Giving a breakdown of the amount disbursed so far to the military, the minister said N85.9bn was released for personnel cost while the balance was for overheads and capital expenditure.

She explained that the sector currently gets a provision of about a trilion in the 2014 budget, adding that based on their current demands, no amount of budgetary provision could take care of their operations.

She said, "Defence spending is top in everything, you know that military establishment need new things to assist them in their work and ours will not be different .

"No budget will be enough to meet their demands, but for now, I think the sectors takes almost a trillion of the budget.

"To be specific, they have about N968.12bn and we have disbursed N130.7bn between January and April 2014."

Okonjo-Iweala debunked claims in some quarters that the ministry was responsible for delays in salaries of men of the armed forces.

She added that the military handled the payment of salaries of its personnel as they had not been captured under the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System.

IPPIS is a new payment platform of the federal government which allows salaries to be released directly into account of employees of the government instead of going thorough the old system that is fraught with bureaucracies.

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