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Dramatic Insertion of N11 billion Into Budget for 2023 Ignored by Defense Ministry

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The Ministry of Defence, represented by the minister, Major General Bashir Magashi (ret. ), and the Permanent Secretary, Dr. Ibrahim Kana, renounced N11 billion that was purportedly put into the Ministry’s planned 2023 budget, causing a minor drama before the Senate.

The drama started when the Senate Committee on Defence allegedly found the insertion during the defense of the spending estimate plan that was provided to it by the minister and other ministry personnel.

The vice chairman of the committee, Senator Itsifanus Gyang, allegedly found the alleged insertion, which consists of N8.6 billion for the purchase of military gear and N2.25 billion for safe school initiatives. In response to the news, Gyang said, “Hon Minister, it has been found that your Ministry’s projected 2023 budget includes N8.6 billion for the acquisition of military weapons and N2.25 billion for safe school initiatives.

When analyzed rigorously, the two items were not meant to be included in the Ministry’s budget because the Army, Navy, and Air Force purchase hardware, while the Federal Ministry of Education oversees the Safe School Initiative. These are duplicate budgetary votes in our eyes, and we need your justification. In order for the Ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Dr. Ibrahim Abubakar Kana, to respond to the question, the Minister requested the Committee’s approval.

Kana informed the committee that Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, Minister of Finance and National Planning, had incorporated the funds into the ministry’s budget. “The Ministry did not take the initiative for the two budgetary votes. They were placed there by the Ministry of Finance and National Planning, he claimed.

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The N8.6 billion and N2.25 billion plans for hardware purchases and Safe School Initiatives would be eliminated from the Ministry’s budget, according to the Committee’s chairman, Senator Aliyu Wamakko.

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