A pro-democracy group,
Concerned Professionals
Congress, CPC, yesterday
lauded plans by the Federal
Government in the 2018
Budget proposal of the
Ministry of Defence to
effect the third installmental
payment to owners of 269
shops forcefully closed by the
military in 2016 due to attacks
by Boko Haram terrorists who
unleashed mayhem while
trying to free their members
detained at Giwa Barracks
near Maiduguri in Borno
State.
The ministry’s budget
proposal showed as N51, 803,
513,126.99 is
Overhead estimate while
N144, 999, 999,931 is the
Capital estimate. For the
ministry’s 2017 Budget
proposal, N25,836,230,505.00
was appropriated for
the Ministry for its
Personnel, Overhead and
Capital Expenditure with
N15,123,142,913.00 for Personnel, N1,611,511,518.00 for
Overhead and N9,101,576,073.00
for Capital.
In a statement jointly issued
in Abuja yesterday by the
group’s Chief Media Strategist,
Mr. Emeka Nwankpa and the
North East Regional Rapporteur,
Malam Baba Al-Kasim, the group
praised the Minister of Defence,
Muhammad Mansur Dan-Ali for
courageously making a case for
the affected shop owners in the
ministry’s 2018 Budget proposal
currently before the National
Assembly.
The group, which monitored
the budget defence session last
Thursday in Abuja at the Senate
Committee on Defence presided
over by its Chairman, Senator
Abubakar Kyari, praised the
minister’s for making the
gesture.
Mr. Nwankpa urged the Senate
Committee, the Chairman, House
of Representatives Committee
on Defence, Hon. Muktar Aliyu
Betara and the Chairman, House
of Representatives Committee
on Public Procurement, Hon.
Wole Oke before whom the
minister appeared on Tuesday,
January 23, 2018 to give positive
consideration to the ministry’s
budget proposal to ensure effective national security and
stability.
‘’The minister revealed that
the government is indebted to
the 269 shop owners. We believe
the shops were forcefully closed
because security at the Giwa
Barracks was compromised by
the business activities which
Boko Haram capitalized on to
unleash mayhem to free their
detained members.
‘’The shop owners owners
headed to court and won. We
commend the focused and
result-driven defence minister
for making a good case for
the shop owners. Nothing can
be spared to win the peoples’
hearts to win this war’’, he said.
The group praised the Armed
Forces of Nigeria under the
leadership of the Chief of
Defence Staff, CDS, General
Gabriel Abayomi Olonisaki, the
service chiefs and the gallant
troops of the Operation Lafiya
Dole, for collaborating with
other security forces in the
country to defeat Boko Haram
terrorists thereby rekindling
hope and confidence in the
sovereignty of the nation.
The court awarded damages
to the owners in the suit, a
ruling which the military
authorities was said to be
reluctant to appeal in line with
Federal Government’s policy
to win the peace at all cost
including cushioning the effects
of the anti-insurgency war on
the people of the war-ravaged
region.
In compliance therefore with
the court judgment, the Ministry
Buhari’s visit will end
herders, farmers clashes
of Defence raised a payment
plan that was reportedly
agreeable to all parties. Of the
initial total debt of N2.4Billion,
payment for two installments
was appropriated and paid
in 2016 and 2017 bringing the
amount so far paid to N1.2B
with a balance of N1.2B.
Thanking the lawmakers for
their understanding, he said
that barracks rehabilitation,
purchase of security
equipment, the military
industrial complex, the
signing of bilateral agreements
with foreign countries, the
construction of 2 (Nos) zonal
educational inspectorate
offices in Enugu and Kaduna
are some of the key capital
projects to be executed in 2018.

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