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General News of Wednesday, 5 May 2021

Source: www.mynigeria.com

Nigerian govt overfunded military operations in Northeast - Finance Minister

Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed has said the federal government has overfunded "Operation Lafiya Dole" a group set up to fight the insurgency in the North East.

She noted that aside the usual budgetary provisions for the operation, additional requests were made by the military through the president.

The minister made this known when she appeared before the Senate Committee on Army, chaired by Senator Ali Ndume (APC, Borno South).

Minister of Finance Zainab Ahmed stated this when she appeared before the Senate Committee on Army, chaired by Senator Ali Ndume.

Reports have indicated that the Nigerian Army has not been receiving enough funds to fight the insurgents.

Last week, Senator Ndume made reference to a letter written by the chief of defence staff, Gen. Lucky Irabor, that the “Operation Lafiya Dole” was underfunded and had a shortfall of N50billion.

He, therefore, appealed to the Senate through its Committee on Army to intervene on the funding of the military.

However, when the committee invited the minister, she indicated that the military "Operation Lafiya Dole" has been overfunded.

According to Ahmed, the president has prioritised the funding of the security agencies.

“The funding of the “Operation Lafiya Dole” is 100 per cent. Apart from the budget, some of the military officials always meet the president with additional requests and we fund them.

“In 2019, N75 billion was budgeted for the “Operation Lafiya Dole” but we ended up spending N82.61 billion. N75 billion was what was budgeted for the operation but we ended up paying over 110 per cent,” she said.

“I’ve not seen a Nigerian soldier holding new AK-47 yet. Up to when I go round, the only place the army holds new AK-47 is Abuja. But other places, they don’t hold old AK47.

“Nigerians want the issue of finance and funding of the military addressed,” he said.

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