By Nkasi Kolie
Despite getting over N800 billion in the 2021 supplementary budget, security agencies in the country have been promised more funds in the 2022 budget.
Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, made the promise while addressing senators on Tuesday, when they resumed from their annual summer break.
Lawan said the only way to address the country’s security challenges was to sustain the trajectory of increasing funds and resources to the security sector. But he, also, demanded increased oversight by lawmakers on spendings by security establishments.
“You would recall that we approved the supplementary budget request for our security and intelligence agencies. While that provision was appropriate and, indeed, necessary, we should sustain the trajectory of increase in funds and resources to the security sector. Therefore, we should consider a ramp up of more resources for our security agencies in the 2022 appropriation. This also requires that our defence and intelligence related committees must step up their oversight on the agencies.”
Lawan said the different heads of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) would, by October, commence the sectoral defence of the 2022 budget, expected to be presented by President Muhammadu Buhari to a joint session of the National Assembly, in September.
“The Senate Joint Committee on Finance, National Planning and Economic Matters, Petroleum Downstream, Petroleum Upstream and Committee on Banking, has been working hard on the 2022/2024 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP). The report of the committee will soon be presented to the Senate for consideration. This is preparatory to the presentation of the 2022 Appropriation Bill by Mr. President soon.
“Let me emphasise that the Senate, indeed, the National Assembly is primed and ready to receive and start work on the Bill. The standing committees are ready to receive Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) for budget Defence. As in the previous years, all MDAs are expected to defend their budget proposals within October 2021, as this is the only allotted window for the exercise. There is no gainsaying the fact that the early passage of the 2020 and 2021 budget has yielded tremendous benefits to our economy and country.”
According to the second – quarter GDP report released by the National Bureau for Statistic (NBS), Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) increased by 5.01 per cent in the second quarter of 2021 – strongest growth since fourth quarter 2014