After some students of a Federal Government school in Yobe were killed by the Boko Haram sect, the Nigerian Senate gave a directive to the Chief of Army Staff, Major General Kenneth Minimah, to relocate his office to Maiduguri to effectively oversee the operations of the military against the Boko Haram insurgents.
At a budget defence meeting with the Senate, the army chief assured the lawmakers that the Nigerian Army was capable of ending the insurgency.
“We know that insurgencies like this, there are bound to be collateral damages by the insurgents. But the regular forces will, overtime and within the shortest possible time, twist the balance of this war against them and they will be on the run and indeed we will bring them on their knees,” he said.
Considering the 2014 budget, the Senate held several budget defence meetings with ministries and parastatals of government and security agencies.
During the defence meeting with Nigeria Police Force, the Inspector General of Police, Mr Mohammed Abubakar, called for more funding for the Police Force, saying that the force may not be able to pay the salaries of its personnel in 2014.
Mr Abubakar, said the budget office earmarked 279 billion Naira for personnel cost against 293 billion Naira required to pay police personnel.
Mr Abubakar also drew the attention of the committee to the steady decline in budgetary allocations for overhead for the police despite the increasing security challenges it had to contend with.
He said the slight increase in capital expenditure in the 2013 budget was because of the injection of constituency projects.
“Out of the sum of 14 billion Naira appropriated for capital expenditure in 2013, only 10.9 billion was released.
“Mr Chairman even the 10 billion, released; I talk about constituency, 4 billion Naira was put for constituencies. So, if you take 4 billion Naira out of 10 billion Naira we are left with 6 billion Naira. And still, we are expected to ensure that there is no robbery, kidnapping and stealing. We are expected to ensure that our officers and men are given the best in terms of welfare. That is why you go about and you see policemen with tattered uniform. It is not because the administration does not care. We do care but you can only give what you have.
“These things don’t come from a personal pocket, they come from a budgetary allocation made by the government and if it is not there, it is not there.
“It takes about 1.7 million Naira to kit one policeman. We are not talking about giving him a walkie-talkie, a pistol, a baton or a telephone and this is the ideal police you want to see. That is why when people come back to this country from England, Europe or America and they ask why our policemen are not like that, I tell them it is because you have not provided those tools for you policemen to be like that,” he said.
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) also appeared before the National Assembly to defend an allegation off corruption against it by Berne Declaration.
The corporation said that the allegation was not true and aimed at portraying the corporation in bad light.
See the full discussion in the meetings in this video.