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Armsgate: NASS to Ensure Strict Monitoring of Funds Earmarked for the Defence, Security


ABUJA (Sundiata Post) – The National Assembly has in the light of recent scandals concerning arms purchase in the country, vowed to ensure that the money appropriated for defence and security in the 2016 budget are well utilised through strict oversight of the sector.‎

This was stated on Tuesday by the Chairman, Senate Committee on Defence, Sen. Ahmad Lawan, during the commissioning of projects at the permanent site of the National Defence College (NDC) in Piwoyi, Abuja.

Ahmad said that the legislature would partner with the executive to ensure that whatever is appropriated to the military is given to them.

He commended the NDC and military authority for the effective management of the resources allocated for the funding of the projects, which he noted, “is worth the value for the money”.

He said: “What I have seen going round and the four projects the Minister of Defence has commissioned means that the President and indeed, the Minister and NDC have thought well. I urge that the military be given a conducive environment to do their work and there is no better time than now. They need all the support and I also think that at N1.2bn the government has gotten value for their money.

“For us in the National Assembly I think we need to be in partnership and collaboration with the executive arm of government. We will ensure that whatever is appropriated to the armed forces is given to them. We cannot allow what happened in the past to take place because the strength, progress and unity of this country is largely dependent on her armed forces. This is one project we will continue to ensure its continuity until its completed.”

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In the same vein, the Minister of Defence, Mr. Mansur Muhammad Dan-Ali, assured that the Federal Government would strive to provide the critical input for the Armed Forces to carry out its constitutional mandate.

In particular, Dan-Ali said, “we shall provide critical infrastructure in the military as well as the much needed operational platforms, hardware and equipment, technologies, arms and ammunition and uniforms.

“We shall also support viable, contingent and long-term human resource development including operational and professional military education to lift the operational confidence of our servicemen.

“We shall support the development of measures to emplace sustainable welfare, motivation and morale of our servicemen now and in the future.”

The minister, against the backdrop of increasing clashes between the military and the civil populace, also vowed to “promote measures to enable effective civil-military relations so that the military may constantly draw moral support from the government, the people and significant stakeholders such as the media.”

Dan-Ali expressed delight that the permanent site of the college, which he noted, was on the verge of being abandoned and its physical master plan were part of the strategic national vision to place the NDC as a foremost and internationally recognised institution for the teaching and research in defence, security and strategic studies.

“In all these years, these projects suffered the real hazards associated with the fluctuating government revenues, budgetary challenges and irregular funding patterns and also faced the risk of abandonment. It is therefore gratifying that after such a journey, the projects have been successfully completed and are being commissioned today,” he said.

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