The National Security Adviser (NSA), Nuhu Ribadu, has attributed the current financial distress in the country to the empty treasury inherited by the administration of President Bola Tinubu, who assumed office a few months ago. He, however, assured that the federal government would do everything possible to ensure a robust and viable defence management and security apparatus in the country, despite the budgetary constraints.
Ribadu made this known on Monday in Abuja, while speaking at the Chief of Defence Intelligence Annual Conference 2023, with the theme: “Leveraging Defence Diplomacy and Effective Regional Collaboration for Enhanced National Security”.
The conference was attended by the Minister of Defence, Abubakar Badaru; the Minister of State, Bello Matawalle; the Permanent Secretary in the Defence Ministry, Ibrahim Kana; the Chief of Defence Staff and other service chiefs.
Ribadu said: “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!”
He commended the armed forces for their commitment to tackling the prevailing security challenges in the country, noting that there were positive changes and improvements both in and outside Nigeria.
He also expressed concern over the recent coups in some African countries, such as Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, Gabon and Guinea, which he said had reversed the democratic gains in those countries.
He stressed the need for defence diplomacy and regional collaboration to enhance national security objectives.
The Chief of Defence Intelligence (CDI), Maj Gen Emmanuel Undiandeye, in his remarks, said the agency was determined to harness the capabilities of the defence attaché system for the attainment of national security objectives.