Ndume: A country that is not secured is not a country, says ‘NASS will adjust defence budget to meet security challenges’

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The Chairman, Senate Committee on Army, Senator Ali Ndume, on Thursday, said the National Assembly will adjust the defence budget to meet current security challenges in the country.

Ndume said in an interview with newsmen in Kaduna that the allocation for the Armed Forces contained in the 2020 Budget proposal before the National Assembly was grossly inadequate in view of the current security challenges.

Ndume led joint members of the National Assembly on fact-finding mission, needs assessment and oversight to Army formations in Kaduna State.

The committee members also paid courtesy visit to Governor Nasiru El-Rufai at the Kashim Ibrahim Government House, Kaduna.

Although N100 billion was allocated to the defence sector in the budget, the Senator said the amount, which is less than one per cent of the total budget size, was grossly inadequate.

“There is nothing more important than security to Nigerians. Even if half of that budget is to be spent on security, they will be glad, because if you are not secured, all other things will not work.

“We have security challenges in this country and Nigerian Army is in the forefront of trying to address the challenges.

“We have gone round to see for ourselves and now we paid courtesy visit to the governor and we also sought for his assistance to make sure that we all put hands on deck to tackle the security challenges.

“Now that the budget is before us, we will surely try to make adjustment so that the budget for defence will be something that will make a difference.

“A country that is not secured is not a country, and the Nigerian Army which is saddled with the responsibility of securing the territorial integrity of the country will be useless if within the country is not secured,” he stressed.

The senator, however, expressed confidence that President Muhammadu Buhari and the executive will take another look at the provisions made for defence even without the intervention of the National Assembly.

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