The Senate Committee on Defence has advised the federal government to sustain the tempo of security operations against the various threats confronting the country noting that current security measures spare-headed by the Military were achieving desired results.
Consequently, the Committee called for more budgetary and extra-budgetry allocations in view of the enormous material and capital projects requirements of the Defence headquarters for sustenance of troops in theatres of operations.
Chairman Senate Committee on Defence, Senator Aliyu Wamako made the recommendation on behalf of the Senate when the committee paid a familiarization visit to the Defence headquarters on Wednesday December 11 as part if its oversight functions.
Addressing the hierarchy of DHQ which included the Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Okonisakin and Principal Staff Officers, Wamako said, “The committee’s objective of the oversight is to access the economic performance of your department in the usage of economic resources deployed to it within the period under review, year 2019 budget, for achieving specific goals of projects implementation, performance and outcomes of specific, measurable, avoidable, realistic time bound objectives among others.
” There is no doubt that security sector governance aims at elaborating rules that set standards for state and human security by applying the principles of good governance to the security sector, thereby making security provision oversight and management, more effective and more accountable, within the framework of democratic civilian control.
“To ensure efficiency and drive effectiveness in this regard therefore, institutions must make the best possible use of public resources in fulfilling their respective roles, responsibilities and missions.
” This calls for responsiveness which implies that the institutions are sensitive to the different security needs of all parts of the population and perform their missions in the spirit of culture and service.
“Furthermore, the committee desires that persons and institutions operate in accordance to the rule of law and also ensure transparency by making security information.
” As legislators, we would continue to establish an effective framework within which to ensure democratic accountability for executive authorities responsible for managing the security sector as well as for the security sector itself.
“For this reason, we will strive to strengthen parliamentary oversight practices and where necessary, reinforce such capacity..
“There is no doubt that the DHQ plays a Germaine role in the coordination of the armed forces which has effectively sustained troops in the various operations spread across the country and the sub region towards guaranteeing a secured Nigeria n nation and successful peace support operation.
” This is clearly evident in the great feat achieved in the ongoing North East operations and the commitment of other security threats across Nigeria.
“The committee commends the sacrifices of officers and men of the armed forces in undertaking this great task of protecting the nation. We salute your courage.
” The committee recommends that the tempo of security operations be sustained. It is therefore imperative that more budgetary and extra-budgetary allocations be approved in respect of the enormous material and capital projects requirement for sustenance of troops in theatre of operations.
“Without doubt, realistic budgetary allocations and appropriations, with on time releases of funds will go a long way in achieving enduring goals. But most importantly, is the judicious use of allocated funds to achieve desired result.
In his address, Chief of Defence Staff, General Olonisakin stated that the armed forces were desirous of a good working relationship and better understanding with the National Assembly particularly the Senate.
He disclosed that in the year 2018, out of the budgetary allocation to the Defence headquarters, only 72 per cent of appropriation was released while this year (2019), only 40 per cent appropriation has been released.
“This affected the 2018 budgetary performance in line with the policy trust of the administration”
He however thanked the committee for the oversight visit inspire of its various other engagements.
Other members on the visit were Senator Istifanus Gyang, Senator Ishiaku Abbo, Senator Abubakar Kyari and Senator Bulus Amos.
The Chief of Defence Intelligence, Air Vice Marshal Muhammed Sani Usman, Chief of Training and Operations, Major General Lucky Irabor and the Chief of Defence Accounts and Budget, Major General Jakko were among Principal Staff officers present at the visit.
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