The Federal Government has set aside N575.6bn in its special funding budget to boost the fight against insecurity and prosecute the ongoing anti-insurgency war.
Under this, a total of N184.25bn was approved for the purchase of military equipment, arms and ammunition.
This latest figure was contained in the N2.18tn supplementary budget for the 2023 fiscal year approved by the Federal Executive Council on Monday.
Details of the 2023 supplementary budget obtained by our correspondent on Tuesday indicated that out of this N552.6bn, the Ministry of Defence and the Armed Forces have been allocated over N147.03bn to upscale internal operations against Boko Haram, bandits, kidnappers and other anti-insurgency wars.
Of the eight military and defence agencies allocated the total sum, the Nigerian Army, Nigerian Air Force and the Nigerian Navy will get N211.5bn, N112.2bn and N62.8bn, respectively. The three forces got the largest chunk of the military budget.
Out of this amount, recurrent expenditure will gulp over N245.1bn and capital expenditure, N329.99bn.
Speaking at the end of this week’s Federal Executive Council meeting at the Aso Villa, the Minister of Budget and Economic Planning, Abubakar Bagudu, said the budget is to “fund urgent issues including national defence and security.”
Bagudu said, “N605bn for national defence and security is to sustain the gains made in security and to accelerate and these are funds that are needed by the security agencies before the year runs out.”
Equally, a sum of N300bn was provided to repair bridges including Eko and Third Mainland Bridges as well as construction, rehabilitation and maintenance of many roads nationwide before the return of the rainy season while N18bn was provided for the Independent National Electoral Commission for the conduct of the Bayelsa, Kogi and Imo elections; N5.5bn for the funding of the take-off of the student loans board which begins loan disbursement in January 2024.
The document stated that N49.99bn was allocated to the Ministry of Defence, out of which N33.6bn was given as recurrent and N16.4bn as capital.
Out of the Nigerian Army’s N211.5bn, recurrent got N116.3bn while N95.2bn will go to capital expenditure. Also, N49.04bn was earmarked for the Department of State Services.
…plans purchase of arms and ammunition worth N184.25bn
Prominent among the capital projects of the Nigerian Army is the purchase of arms and ammunition, including the refurbishment and up-gunning/upgrade of 155mm self-propelled Howitzer Palmaria, artillery guns at the cost of N27.1bn, arms, ammunition and ancillary equipment for the Nigerian Navy at N8.92bn.The Nigerian Air Force, which is also acquiring aircraft arms and ammunition budgeted N80.48bn.
Written by: Kevin Nwabueze
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