Those who think the huge amount budgeted for security in the 2012 budget would be spent on buying arms and sophisticated gadgets as well as on equiping our security agencies to rev up their intelligence gathering capacity should better perish the thought.
Premium Times can report authoritatively today that should the National Assembly okay the proposal, a huge chunk of the hefty N921 billion vote would be spent on salaries and overheads, a breakdown of the security budget shows.
The breakdown reveals that salaries and overhead expenditures of the various security agencies rather than capital security investments will gulp more than three quarters of the amount earmarked for security.
Police formations and commands have a recurrent allocation of N298.817 billion – the highest in the league. Defence, which includes the Ministry of Defence, Army, Air Force and Navy jointly have an allocation of N291.683 billion.
The para-military agencies under the interior ministry have recurrent allocation of N149.732 billion while the office of the national security adviser has N59.637 billion.
The Ministry of Police Affairs and the Police Service Commission have the lowest recurrent proposals of N3.609 billion and N870.077 million respectively.
The office of the national security adviser is billed to procure security infrastructure worth N64.625 billion, which is the highest by any single security agency.. It is followed by Defence – Ministry of Defence, Army, Air force and Navy – which has an infrastructural development vote of N34.670 billion.
Police formations and commands have N9.039 billion for capital projects while the interior ministry has N7.6billion for infrastructural development.
The 2012 budget bill was given an express first and second reading by the senate on Thursday but its security provisions left the lawmakers wondering if the country was preparing for “war.”
“We are not downplaying the security threats but we are asking that the causes of the security threats should be addressed first.” Ahmed Lawal (ANPP Yobe State) said.
Beside the established security agencies, the government would be spending N74.176 billion to sustain the presidential amnesty program for Niger Delta ex-militants.