Buhari’s govt votes N15billion for police special operations in the north, excludes southern region

President Muhammadu Buhari-led government has set aside over N15 billion as the “Police Special Operations Fund” to tackle insecurity in the North-East, North-West and North-Central states.

This is contained in the 2021 supplementary appropriation bill of N983 billion, which the President signed into law in July.

Checks by SaharaReporters into the supplementary budget revealed that the Southern region is conspicuously missing from the “Police Special Operations Fund” which is meant to tackle the security challenges facing the country, chief among them being kidnappings, banditry and terrorism. 

The Police Special Operations Fund (Item 16) under Police Formation and Commands will be given N15,166,188,712.

The item reads, “Police Special Operations Fund (Service-wide Vote) North-East/North-West/North-Central – N15,166,188,712.”

The supplementary budget is silent on the Southern states which also have had a fair share of the security challenges bedevilling the country.

SaharaReporters had also on Tuesday reported that in the N983 billion supplementary budget signed into law, recurrent (non-debt) expenditure will gulp N123 billion, while N895 billion will go into capital expenditure.

The supplementary budget also covers the procurement of security equipment, vaccines and other COVID-19 related equipment.

It had earlier been reported that the government plans to spend N4.87 billion for “WhatsApp and Thuraya Interception Solutions.”

The supplementary budget allocated N4.87 billion (4,870,350,000) for the National Intelligence Agency (NIA). The provision is for the procurement of military intelligence equipment – Thuraya Interception Solution for N2.94billion and WhatsApp Interception Solution (N1.93 billion).

Despite public outcry and protest against the move to invade citizens’ privacy, federal lawmakers approved the procurement for the executive arm as stated in the budget submitted by Buhari.

From the supplementary budget, the Federal Ministry of Health got N2.8 billion to procure molecular laboratory equipment in national hospitals.

The hospitals include National Orthopedic Hospital, Igbobi; National Eye Centre, Kaduna; National Ear Care Centre, Kaduna; National Fistula Centre, Abakaliki; National Fistula Hospital, Katsina; National Fistula Hospital, Sokoto; Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital, Calabar; University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital and Federal Medical Centre, Asaba Annex, Aniocha.

They were allocated N300 million each for the equipment, while N400 million was allocated to the Federal Medical Centre, Nguru, for the same purpose.

On other capital supplementary allocations, the Nigerian government earmarked N67.44 billion (N67,443,671,374) for the procurement and installation of oxygen plants as well as vaccine procurement for the country.

The breakdown showed that N60.3 billion would be used to procure 29.8 million doses of Johnson & Johnson vaccines under the African Vaccine Acquisition Trust (AVAT) arrangements.