Nigeria: National Assembly Promises Approval for Extra Budget to Fight Insecurity

23 February 2021

The leadership of the National Assembly yesterday gave an assurance that it will approve the extra-budgetary request of the executive for the security agencies to wage a total war on the rising level of insecurity in the country.

It also declared that the composition of a new board for the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) may have to wait until the ongoing forensic audit of the agency is completed and its report submitted to the presidency for necessary action.

Chairman of the National Assembly and President of the Senate, Dr. Ahmad Lawan, who made this disclosure while speaking with journalists at the Presidential Villa, Abuja after a closed-door meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari stated that the federal government was headed in the right direction with its latest moves to fight security challenges across the country.

According to him, the legislative arm will approve budgetary proposals for more funds to be released from the excess crude account to the security agencies to procure more weapons for the fight against insurgency and other security matters facing the nation.

"You'll recall that the National Economic Council (NEC) approved of taking some funds from the Excess Crude Account (ECA) with a view to giving more resources to our armed forces.

This is a commendable effort and we are ready to help with appropriation to ensure that we acquire those security weapons for the armed forces of this country to end this insecurity in the North-east, in the North-west, in the South-east/South-south and South-west as well.

"We believe that this is also going to help empower and build the capacity of other security agencies like the police because the police need to be there. They're supposed to maintain the internal security and whenever the armed forces secure an environment, the police should be there to stay put and make sure there is law and order," Lawan explained.

He further explained that he had fruitful deliberation with the president on the need to secure all parts of the country, especially the rural areas ahead of the planting season for farmers.

He disclosed that they had a very extensive discussion on the security of all parts of Nigeria and how the federal government should go about improving the situation.

According to him, nobody would like to see the kind of things that is being experienced in various parts of the country in the form of insecurity.

"As political leaders, we have responsibilities to our people and we cannot shy away from that, we have to get our people secured, we have to secure the environment for them to earn their means of livelihood, and we'll like to see our farmers go back to farms before the rainy season starts.

"This means we have to secure the rural parts of Nigeria as well as the urban centres because we need businesses to flourish. So I believe that between now and probably the next two months, there will be a lot of activities to ensure that we recover and secure the environments for our people to lead a very normal life," he said.

The president of the Senate also stressed the need for Nigerians to live in any part of the country irrespective of where the people come from in the spirit of one Nigeria.

"I want to point out very clearly that Nigerian citizens believe in Nigeria so strongly and that is why you will find an Igbo man, a South-easterner in the remotest parts of northern Nigeria.

That's why you will find a Hausa man in faraway south-west or south-east or south-south and probably even marry from those areas. Probably, he will be selling cola nuts, but he believes that this is Nigeria and he can live peacefully and is living and make a family. You will find a Yoruba man in faraway southeastern or northern Nigeria, maybe even becoming an indigene," he said.

Lawan also mentioned the issue of the non-composition of the NDDC board which he said was discussed with the president and that the board will have to wait until the forensic audit is completed.

According to him, those found culpable in the mismanagement of NDDC funds will face the music once the audit report is submitted to the presidency.

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