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We’ve released 100% of funds approved for the army, says Zainab Ahmed

Author:
Dyepkazah Shibayan

Zainab Ahmed, minister of finance, budget and national planning, says the Nigerian army got the approved budget funds to fight insecurity in the country.

Appearing before the senate committee on army on Tuesday, the minister said apart from budgetary allocations, some security agencies get special approvals from President Muhammadu Buhari.

“Apart from the fact that we try best efforts to fund what is provided for in the budget by almost 100 per cent, there has also been a lot of instances where the security service go to the president, get special approvals and we still provide funds,” the ministers said.

“So, perhaps what we are providing is not enough, but the fact is we provide what is budgeted and we provide what is approved.

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“Maybe, the thing to do in the meantime is to take stock of the real needs of the Nigerian Army. You have an opportunity in the supplementary budget that is coming in so that we can address some of that.

“In 2019, what was budgeted for the Nigerian Army was N19.6 billion, adding that N12.84 billion was released, representing 64.37 percent.

“In 2020, the total capital budget for the Nigerian Army was N34.37 billion and this amount was released 100 per cent.

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“In 2021 (that is this current year), the total budget for the Nigerian Army is N29 billion as at April. We have released N17.98 billion of that, which is 68.92 per cent. It means we are on course to also release 100 per cent.

“There was an outside-of-budget spending because the need was higher than what was provided for in the budget. There was a total provision of N64.5 billion for procurement of military equipment that was provided for through special approval of Mr. President.”

The minister said in 2020, N20.634 billion and N20.471 billion were released for overhead cost, representing 99.21 percent.

“In 2021, which is the current year, the total budget for the year is N20.63 billion and three months releases that we have done so far on overhead totaling N4.99 billion representing 96.75 per cent of the prorated budget for the three months because the year is still running,” she said.

“In 2019, what was budgeted as personnel Cost for the Nigerian Army was N192.155 billion but because of the adjustment that we have had to make for the minimum wage, the releases was 122.91 percent over the budget at N237.42 billion.”

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