The National Security Adviser (NSA), Nuhu Ribadu, has shed light on the financial challenges facing Nigeria, attributing them to the state of the treasury inherited by President Bola Tinubu’s administration.
Speaking at the Chief of Defence Intelligence Annual Conference 2023 in Abuja on Monday, Ribadu acknowledged the severe financial constraints affecting budgetary allocations but reassured the nation that the federal government remains dedicated to maintaining a robust and viable defense management and mechanism.
Addressing the gathering of key figures, including the Minister of Defence, Minister of State, and other high-ranking officials in the Defense Ministry, Ribadu expressed his commitment to the country’s defense despite daunting budgetary limitations. He emphasized the administration’s determination to prioritize the needs of the armed forces and security agencies.
Ribadu stated, “I assure you that the federal government will not rest on its oars in ensuring a robust and viable defense management and security apparatus to address contemporary challenges even in the face of enormous budgetary constraints.”
Acknowledging the financial predicament, Ribadu disclosed, “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!”
Despite these challenges, Ribadu praised the armed forces for their unwavering dedication in addressing the security challenges plaguing the nation, both domestically and internationally. He emphasized the positive changes and improvements made and urged unity and support for the country’s security agencies.
“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,” Ribadu asserted.
Highlighting the recent coups in Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, Gabon, and Guinea, Ribadu emphasized the importance of defense diplomacy in pursuing strategic engagements with allies and partners to achieve national security objectives.
The Chief of Defence Intelligence, Maj Gen Emmanuel Undiandeye, also addressed the conference and affirmed the agency’s determination to harness the capabilities of the defense attaché system for the attainment of national security objectives.
In conclusion, the conference showcased a unified commitment to bolstering Nigeria’s national security, even in the face of financial challenges. Ribadu and other high-ranking officials emphasized the importance of supporting the armed forces and security agencies as they work diligently to secure the nation and overcome its current difficulties.