The Minister of Defence, Maj. Gen. Bashir Salihi Magashi (rtd) has defended the Ministry of Defence 2021 budget proposal before the House of Representatives Committee on Defence Chaired by Hon. Babajimi Bande.
The minister who presented a budget estimate of N340,315,359,255.95 for the Ministry of Defence 2021 fiscal year disclosed that the budget is premised on the 2020-2023 Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) of the government as well as predicated on strengthening the Services and other Military institutions.
He further noted that this will enable his ministry perform it statutory responsibility without lacking the necessary requirements, according to a statement signed by the Special Assistant to the Minister on Media and Publicity, Mohammed AbdulKadri.
The minister gave a breakdown of the budget proposal of N2,076,409,844.00 as main overhead cost of the Ministry for the year, N1,520,000,000.00 is for the Brigade of Guards, while the sum of N556,409,844.00) is budgeted for its regular overhead expenditure.
Magashi said: “The orojects to be executed by the Ministry in the 2021 budget include the on-going and special projects approved by the President Muhammadu Buhari which cover the acquisition of Defence Equipment to be executed on government to government on win-win basis estimated at $692,968,573.00 out of which 30% was released by the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning.
“The ministry has the Presidential directive to execute a stalled contract put at USD269,734,420.50 for the delivery of 700 Troops Carrying Vehicles and 50 buses awarded since 2014 by the Office of the National Security Adviser.”
He also summarised the 2020 budget performance as at 26th October pointing out that 88% of the overhead was utilised while the total Expenditure for Capital utilised stands at 16% even as he blamed the low capital utilisation on four causative factors.
The minister further stressed that the factors include, the challenge of the general effects of COVID-19 pandemic, paucity of funds, late release of capital funds and bureaucratic bottleneck associated with procurement process.
He therefore assured the House Committee on Defence, that the Ministry is poised to actualising its statutory responsibility of providing adequate security to entrenche peace in a united Nigeria.
In his remarks, the Chairman House Committee on Defence, Hon. Babajimi Bande, reiterated the commitments of members to doing the needful with the budget proposal without any delay.
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