Mr Ribadu stated this in Abuja at the Chief of Defence Intelligence Annual Conference 2023, with the theme: “Leveraging Defence Diplomacy, and Effective Regional Collaboration for Enhanced National Security.”
The former chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), however assured that the financial mess wouldn’t affect budgetary allocations, as everything would be done to enhance robust and viable defence management and apparatus in the country.
He said, “I assure you that the Federal Government will not rest on its laurels in ensuring a robust and viable defence management and security apparatus to address contemporary challenges even in the face of enormous budgetary constraints.
“Yes, we’re facing budgetary constraints. It is okay for me to tell you. Fine, it is important for you to know that we inherited a difficult situation, literally a bankrupt country, no money, to a point where we can say that all the money we’re getting now, we’re paying back what was taken. It is serious!
“But this administration is doing its best to meet our requirements, particularly the armed forces, and I believe that you leaders will be able to testify to that,” he assured.
In attendance at the conference were the Minister of Defence, Abubakar Badaru; Minister of State, Bello Matawalle; Permanent Secretary in the defence ministry, Ibrahim Kana; the Chief of Defence Staff, and other service chiefs.
The NSA’s comment about the current administration inheriting a country in financial distress comes after President Bola Tinubu lavished over $500,000 on a five-day stay in a luxury hotel in New York in September.
The president is also presently pushing to spend N13.5 billion ($16.2 million) to renovate his official residences in Abuja and in Lagos, where he already has a mansion and would rarely use it as President.