2020 Budget: Group Seeks More Funds For Interior Ministry

* Aregbesola 
The presentation of the  2020 budget proposals of N10.33 trillion to the joint session of the  National Assembly By President Muhammadu Buhari
Monday continues to draw mixed reactions from Nigerians and the organised Civil Society Organisations, CSO.

One of  the CSOs, focusing on internal peace, security and good governance in Nigeria, Peace and Anti-Corruption Advocacy, PAA in its reaction has described as paltry and unsustainable, the allocation of N35 billion  to the Ministry of Interior and its four agencies.

PAA in a statement made available to journalists in Abuja and signed by its Director-General and National Coordinator, respectively Prince Mike Newgent Ekamon and Comrade James Okoronkwo lamented that the 2020 budget proposal for the  Ministry of Interior as presented by President Buhari is grossly inadequate to sustain  the projections of its four agencies and the main Ministry.

The CSO thus appealled to the Natiional Assembly  for an upward review of the allocation to the ministry maintaining that as the backbone of internal
wellbeing of Nigeria, the Ministry of Interior is very pivotal to the change agenda of the Buhari administration. PAA added that it may be  constrained to make presentations during the budget hearings   to drive home her demand for increased allocation to the ministry .

In a related development, PAA commended the Commandant-General of the Nigeria Security and   Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC,  Alhaji Abdullahi Muhammdu Gana   for the successful take off of  its Agro Rangers policy which according to them  has boosted food production in Nigeria. The group  cited the policy amongst others as part of their reasons for  increased allocation to the Interior  ministry.

The group further argued that similar, laudable reformation programmes are also on going in another agency of the ministry, namely  Nigerian Correctional Services (former Nigerian Prison Service), where its Controller General, Mallam Jafaru Isah is executing  various reformation and revamping of the Services.

''It will be a disservice to Nigerian taxpayers if some of these capital projects are again abandoned midway for paucity of funding'', the group noted, and further appealed to President Buhari and the National Assembly to find it expedient to extend the tenure of the NSCDC and Nigerian Correctional Services bosses to enable the successfully conclude their reformative and renewal programmes.

PAA also reiterated its earlier commendation to President Buhari for chooosing a tested and tried technocrat like Ogbeni  Rauf  Aregbesola as Minister of the Interior Ministry.

''Ogbeni Aregbesola's sterling record of  quality project delivery,  accountability and transparency would definitely impact positively on the Buhari administration'',  the group affirmed.

Other agencies in the Ministry of Interior includes the Nigeria Fire Service and Nigerian Immigration Services
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