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Senate rejects move to oversight security budgets to prevent funds diversion 

Senate introduces Bill to create new state, Tiga from Kano

The Nigerian Senate has rejected an amendment to a motion urging the upper chamber to oversee and monitor security budgets, specifically for the purchase of weapons and materials needed to combat insecurity to prevent possible diversion for other purposes.

The Upper Chamber on Wednesday debated a motion titled “Suicide Attacks in Gwoza, Borno State: The Urgency to Stem the Tide of This Ugly Menace,” sponsored by Ali Ndume, the Senator representing Borno South. The motion was prompted by the series of coordinated suicide bombings targeted at a wedding ceremony, a funeral, and a hospital in Gwoza, which resulted in the deaths of approximately 32 people and left many others wounded.

Following the debate, Admas Oshiomhole, Senator representing Edo North, moved an amendment to the motion. The amendment called for Senate committees on Defence, Navy, Air Force, and Army to oversight and monitor all appropriations to ensure that funds allocated for security purposes, particularly for the procurement of weapons, are not diverted for other uses.

The lawmaker alleged that previous service chiefs had diverted security funds for non-essential purposes other than security.

“My additional prayer is that the Senate mandates its Committee on Army and Air Force to ensure that we do not only provide more money to the armed forces, that we guide jealously what they use that money to procure. Under the supervision and oversight of this National Assembly, previous service chiefs, spent this money to build universities in their various communities, resources that should be used to procure modern technology”, Oshiomhole said.

“Last year when we were doing the supplementary budget, we saw that the Navy brought up the issue of yachts. Are  we prepared to buy a yacht? That is why the oversight responsibility of this Senate is extremely important  to prioritize in a manner that coincides with what we think the Nigerian Army should be doing”, he further said.

The proposal was seconded but ultimately rejected when Godswill Akpabio, the Senate President put the amendment to a voice vote. A majority of Senators voted against it.

The rejected amendment aimed to prevent the diversion of funds meant for security, and to prevent past instances where funds were allegedly used by Service chiefs for non-security purposes, such as the construction of universities or procurement of yachts.

The rejection of the amendment means that the Senate will not mandate its committees to specifically oversee these appropriations at this time.