In the just concluded week, President Muhammadu Buhari launched a new National Security Strategy in order to further tackle the current threats of insecurity in Nigeria.
According to the President, the new security strategy road map would put an end to the insurgency in the North-east, address the conflicts between the farmers and herders, as well as lay the foundations of sustainable peace in all regions.
He stated that, in addition to the physical security, the new security strategy also touched on the social security of Nigerians as government commitment to fighting corruption, investing in education and health care were all embedded in the document.
Meanwhile, the National Security Adviser, Retired Major General Babagana Monguno said that Nigeria should address the Almajiri system – adding to the number of out-of-school children – in the North as part of the holistic solution to insecurity.
In another development, the National Assembly on Thursday, December 5, 2019 finally
passed the 2020 Budget after it was increased by N264 billion to N10.59 trillion from N10.33 trillion estimates submitted by the President.
The eventual passage of the increased budget and subsequent transmitting of same to the President for his assent before the end of December 2019, were in-line with one of the major agenda of
the current administration to return Nigeria back to January to December budget circle.
Further breakdown of the N10.59 trillion approved budgets showed that N560.47 billion was earmarked for statutory transfers; N2.73 trillion for debt service; N4.84 for recurrent (non-debt) expenditure; and N2.47 trillion for contribution to the development fund for capital expenditure.
The increased budget is predicated on crude oil production of 2.18 million barrel per dollar (mbpd) as proposed by the Executive; crude oil price benchmark of USD57 dollar per barrel (dpb) as against USD55 dpb proposed by the Executive; Exchange rate of N305/USD; GDP growth rate and inflation rate of 2.93% and 10.81% respectively.
We commend the federal government for initaiting a comprehensive strategy in tackling the country’s insecurity challenges as its renewed focus on improving the lifestyle of Nigerians (provision of quality health care and education), as part of the strategy to dealing with the heightened insecurity threats, would effectively reduce the increasing easy-youth recruitment by terrorists, and save Nigeria the huge funds it expends on military solutions.
Meanwhile, we feel that the early passage of the 2020 budget presents to FG, the opportunity to achieve full budget implementation; nevertheless, there is high possibility that FG would struggle in raising the budgeted revenue as its revenue base remain narrowly concentrated on income from oil.