Buhari's $1b security fund can't be spent without appropriation

The proposed $1 billion to fight insurgency will not be spent without appropriation by the National Assembly, Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate) Ita Enang said yesterday.

He told State House correspondents: “In response to several issues raised about security fund sourced for at source from Excess Crude Account (ECA) to combat security challenges in the country and the several misreadings attending same, may l state as follows:

“That the said sum has not and cannot be approved for spending by Mr. President. That in accordance with best practices, Mr. President, having received approval of the sum from the National Economic Council (NEC) made up of all the governors, now had a meeting with the Minister of Defence, Service Chiefs and the Inspector-General of Police, among others to collate the need of each of the services and the money available for appropriation

“That Mr. President and the meeting having collated the need of each Service and the amount involved may now present same to the Federal Executive Council (FEC) for detailed consideration, or in exercise of presidential powers, may communicate same to the National Assembly for appropriation.

“That this may be done as usual upon Mr. President consulting prior with the leadership of the National Assembly through the whole body of principal officers or the presiding officers of each chamber only, before originating the communication to the National Assembly

“That as at now, the process of approving the money for use is inchoate and still undergoing executive standard operating procedure before laying same before the National Assembly for appropriation.

“That the processes now being worked on are to fast-track this procedure so that it may be forwarded to the National Assembly while it is still considering the 2018 Appropriation Bill (Budget) for incorporation as Mr. President’s supplementary request under the 2018 Budget, or if completed, after the 2018 Budget, it may be forwarded as supplementary Appropriation Bill.”

According to Enang, as at today, Mr. President has not approved the release of the cash in whatever form.

He added: “In any case, before any sum is released from the Consolidated Revenue Fund, there must be Appropriation Act, Vote of Charge, Warrant, which is legally predicated on appropriation authorisation sub-head under the Act.”

He added, “And at this stage, the matter is undergoing these processes for laying before the National Assembly for appropriation. Therefore, the matter of the security fund is still undergoing standard processes."