Nuhu Ribadu, the National Security Adviser (NSA) on Monday said the current financial distress being faced in the country was because the present administration, led by President Bola Tinubu inherited an empty treasury when he came to power a few months ago.
Ribadu, however, said despite the financial constraints that have affected budgetary allocations, the Federal Government would do everything within its power to ensure that there is a robust and viable defence management and apparatus in the country.
He disclosed this while speaking at the Chief of Defence Intelligence Annual Conference 2023 theme: “Leveraging Defence Diplomacy and Effective Regional Collaboration for Enhanced National Security” in Abuja.
The conference was well attended by Minister of Defence, Abubakar Badaru; Minister of State, Bello Matawalle; Permanent Secretary in the Defence Ministry, Ibrahim Kana; the Chief of Defence Staff and other service chiefs.
The NSA said, “I assure you that the federal government will not rest on its oars in ensuring a robust and viable defence management and security apparatus to address contemporary challenges even in the face of enormous budgetary constraints.
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“Yes, we’re facing budgetary constraints. It is okay for me to tell you. Fine, it is important for you to know that we have inherited a very difficult situation, literally a bankrupt country, no money, to a point where we can say that all the money we’re getting now; we’re paying back what was taken. It is serious!
“But this administration is doing its best to meet our requirements, particularly the armed forces, and I believe that you leaders will be able to testify to that,” the former chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission told the gathering.
According to him, the armed forces under the current leadership have shown serious commitment to addressing the prevailing security challenges bedevilling the country, adding that there were positive changes and improvements both in and outside Nigeria.
“Let us come together as one and continue to support our armed forces and other security agencies with this work of securing our country for peace and stability.
“They have done an amazingly good job without talking and I believe that with the support and the resolve of the leadership we have today in our country, things will only be better.
“We are just four or five months old, but certainly things have changed and we believe that what they are doing, they are doing it right. We want to encourage them, stand by them and support them 100 per cent and hopefully, this country will be okay in a short time,” he said.
The NSA added that the coups in Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, Gabon and Guinea had led to a sudden reversal of democratic fortunes in those countries.
He noted that the essence of defence diplomacy was to pursue strategic engagement with allies and partners at bilateral and multilateral levels while ensuring the attainment of national security objectives.
On his part, the Chief of Defence Intelligence (CDI), Maj Gen Emmanuel Undiandeye said the agency was determined to harness the capabilities of the defence attaché system for the attainment of national security objectives.