$1bn insurgency fund might be supplementary part of 2018 Budget – Ita Enang
Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on National Assembly Matters, Senator Ita Enang, has said the one billion dollars insurgency fund approved by governors for the Federal Government to tackle insecurity in the country might pass as a supplementary bill in the 2018 budget.
The Presidential aide stated this while addressing Statehouse correspondents on Friday in Abuja, saying that the money had yet to be drawn down.
He stated that before drawing the amount the approval of the National Assembly would be sought after through an appropriation process.
He said that if the process was completed before the passage of the 2018 appropriation bill the amount could be disbursed but, if not, Buhari would submit it as part of Supplementary Bill for passage by the NASS.
“No money in law can be taken from there and spent without appropriation and that is not contemplated.
“Before appropriation is sent, details have to be obtained as to what the Nigerian Army, Air Force, Navy component, what other support services, the intelligence community, need.
“It is the details of the needs that Mr President will forward but I am aware that the appropriate authorities are working on the details of how it will be applied so that the details will be tied together,” he said.
He said that, thereafter, the NASS would be apprised of it before being forwarded as appropriation amendment or further input to the 2018 appropriation.
The legislative aide stated that the President and members of the executive would not do anything unlawful, adding that the matter would not be laid before the legislature now as the processes had yet to be completed.
“Until the processes are completed and the details of how it would be applied by each of the services and other matters, that is when the NASS would be apprised,” he added.
Enang also addressed the concerns of some governors on the fund saying that security matters do not recognized parties, religions or individuals, and could put the entire country into trouble if not well tackled.
He cited instances such as when the OPC problem in the South-West and the militancy in the South-South cropped up and the entire country came together to resolve the impasse.
He said it was through such processes that the Niger Delta Ministry and the Amnesty office were created as well as the removal of on shore/off shore dichotomy which placed more money in the South-South states.
He appealed to those criticizing the move to consider that the entire country was being affected by various kinds of insurgency adding that the amount would be used to solve many of the national security challenges.