BusinessDay

Insecurity: Senate to approve any amount as supplementary budget

...grills service chiefs

The Nigerian Senate on Thursday said it would approve any amount of money as supplementary budget as long as it would assist in fighting the menace of insecurity stirring the country in the face.

Senate spokesman, Ajibola Bashiru disclosed this after the closed-door session the lawmakers had with the service chiefs, which lasted for four hours.

Bashiru hinted that they were briefed by the service chiefs on the steps they are taking to curtail the security challenges in the country.

Though he was silent on how much the supplementary budget would be, but he said the Senate was satisfied with the efforts being made by the service chiefs and fully ready to support their efforts.

Bashiru said the Senate was willing to approve any supplementary budget forwarded to it by the executive as long as it would assist in quelling the rising insecurity in the country.

The Senate had to amend its rules to allow the service chiefs into the hallowed chamber at about 11:20am and shortly after they went into a closed-door session where the service chiefs were grilled for four hours on the lingering security situation across the country.

Following the continuous dwindling insecurity in virtually all parts of the country, the lawmakers had in one of their sittings last week resolved to invite the service chiefs to brief them on plans to contain the fragile insecurity Nigerians are being exposed to on daily basis.

Those in attendance are: Lucky Irabor (chief of defence staff); Ibrahim Attahiru (chief of army staff); Awwal Zubairu Gambo (chief of naval staff); and Isiaka O. Amao (chief of air staff).

Also in attendance include the acting Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba; the director-general of the National Intelligence Agency, Ahmed Rufai Abubakar and Director-General of State Security Services, Yusuf Bichi.

Before going into closed-door session, the president of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan said they appreciated the sacrifice of the security personnel, adding that the parliament was taken the issue of insecurity seriously.

According to Lawan, “You recall our resolution to invite them for briefing on security situation in our dear country. On behalf of all of us Senators, I want to welcome this team and let me quickly assure you that indeed this Senate or the entire National Assembly is and will remain a partner in progress with you.

“On behalf of my colleagues, I want to commend our armed forces and other security agencies for fighting the myriad of security challenges across the country.

“In the process, some have given up their lives. We appreciate what you are doing because we know that you are doing your best with what you have at hand.

“I want to assure you and everyone that the challenges we face are taken seriously and extremely by the parliament.”