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Five Northern States To Spend N30.4bn On Security In 2014

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Five northern states will this year spend N30.4billion on security. The states are Adamawa, Borno, Kaduna, Plateau and Yobe states. The figures which are contained in the 2014 budgets of the affected states and facts disclosed by some of their officials showed that Adamawa and Borno states will spend more on the sector this year.

When LEADERSHIP Sunday examined the 2014 budget and official documents of some of the 19 northern states, it was discovered that Borno State, which is hard-hit by attacks of Boko Haram sect, would spend N9.6billion on security during the year. This was the same amount it spent on the sector last year.

Kaduna State proposes to spend N4.8billion at N400million monthly on the sector this year, while Yobe and Plateau states rank next with N3.8billion and N2.6billion respectively.

In Adamawa State, LEADERSHIP Sunday learnt that the federal government deducts N800million monthly from the state’s allocation since President Goodluck Jonathan introduced a state of emergency in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states in May 2013.

In its 2014 budget, Kaduna State through the office of the secretary to the state government (SSG) plans to spend N4.8 billion as security vote.

In the Appropriation Bill presented to the House of Assembly, Governor Mukhtar Ramalan Yero requested N2.1 billion as security vote and another N2.7 billion tagged “Security Vote (Preventive and Supportive)” for the SSG’s office.

A breakdown of the security votes shows that the state government will draw N400 million monthly for security services and projects.

The commissioner for finance, Mr Samaila Aliyu, however, said he was not in a position to comment on security matters and how the state government intends to spend the money.

Also, the SSG, Alhaji Hamza Ishaq anmahawayi, said: “I can’t talk about it now because the budget has not been passed by the state assembly. I will explain how we intend to expend the funds as soon it is passed into law.”

The Plateau State government wants the House of Assembly to approve N2.6billion for security in the 2014 budget before the lawmakers.

The amount is N1.7billion more than what it budgeted for security in 2013.

Since sectarian crisis erupted in the state, which led to the setting up of the Special Task Force (STF) on Jos crisis by the federal government, the commander of STF in charge of security reports to the Defence Headquarters in Abuja.

But a state government official who preferred anonymity said the state government has its security outfit called Operation Rainbow which is in charge of neighbourhood watch, adding that the recruitment, training and logistics for its personnel cost a lot of money.

The rising state of insecurity has caused various governments of the volatile states, especially those in the north-east, to budget billions of naira under the Government House subhead for security, LEADERSHIP gathered.

In Borno and Yobe states, the budget for security is funded through the Government House.

Though the Ministry of Budget and Planning is yet give a breakdown of the 2014 budget, the allocation for 2013 to the Government House was the highest. The sum of N9.7 billion was budgeted, and, according to government officials, a large proportion of the fund went to servicing security matters.

Governor Ibrahim Shettima in his budget presentation said the Government House handles security matters and communications with the federal government and other states: “In view of the above, government has allocated the sum of N9.675billion for its capital and recurrent expenditures for the 2013 fiscal year.” An official of the state said the figure for this year could be higher because the situation has not changed.

In Yobe State, the government has allocated N3.8billion to security matters, which is the highest sectoral vote.

The money will be used for the logistics, payment of the allowances of troops, fuelling of their vehicles, uniforms, feeding and acquisition of 300 Hilux vehicles for the 17 local government areas in the state.

It was learnt that the state government spends over N200 million monthly on the security agencies.

An analysis of the 2014 budget which was presented to the Benue State House of Assembly in December 2013 by Governor Gabriel Suswam showed that the state government did not allocate a specific amount to security or how much it would spend on the police and assistance to the military task forces.

The budget only contained N37.1 billion allocation to personnel and overhead costs which cover security vote, among others.

Kano State governor Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso in his 2014 budget presentation said: “We remain conscious of the consequences of security challenges, which for us are not limited to security of life and property but also involve employment security, food security, education and others.”

LEADERSHIP Sunday learnt that the state legislature has signed into law the Kano Security Trust Fund Law where over N500 million was earmarked for the construction of security plaza gates along Zaria Road at Karfi, Dambatta Road, near Bandirawo City, Maiduguri Road at Rijiyar Gwangwan, at Dawanau on Bichi Road and Zaria Road near the state College of Education.

The Niger State government places security vote under general administration head to give security matters serious attention.

LEADERSHIP Sunday gathered that because of the strategic nature of security matters the state government did not treat it as a head of its own in the budgetary profile but a sub-head under general administration.

The 2014 budget revealed that the state government allocated N15.7 billion for general administration which covers security matters.

The 18-page budget presented by Governor Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko itemised what would be spent on each sector but silent on security vote. An official of the state government said no amount was allocated to the sector because of the prevailing peace in the state.

Although Kogi State governor Idris Wada did not specify the figure for security in the 2014 budget, a senior official of the state told LEADERSHIP Sunday that N1billion would be spent on vehicles and allowances for security agents.

The Katsina State government has the least vote of N211 million for security in its 2014 budget.

A breakdown of the figure showed that N150million is voted for security under the recurrent expenditure of the office of the secretary to the state government.

A further look at the state’s budget indicates that N1.5 million will be spent on maintenance of security gadgets. Also, N60 million was made for security/strategic contact under the sub-head of the deputy governor’s office.

However, a provision of 10t, indicating token or, better still, blank cheque, was made for donations/operations of security activities in the state for the year.

Although the commissioner of finance could not be reached for comments, experts on budget matters told our correspondent that the 10t means that government was at liberty to spend any amount so long as it is within the overall budget.

The director of press and public affairs to Adamawa State governor, Mallam Ahmed Sajoh, disclosed that the state government was being forced to spend substantial amount of its security funds since the emergency rule was imposed on the state by the federal government.

When asked how much the state government has budgeted for security in 2014, Sajoh said the state government is not responsible for security matters.

However a source close to governor Nyako told LEADERSHIP Sunday that since the advent of the emergency rule in the state, the federal government on a monthly basis deducts about N800million from its federal allocation, which translates to N9.6billion annually.

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