By Ismaila Chafe
President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the release of one billion dollars for the procurement of security equipment to fight insecurity in the country.
The Minister of Defence, retired Brig.-Gen. Mansur Dan-Ali disclosed this when he briefed State House correspondents on the outcome of the meeting between President Buhari and service chiefs at the
Presidential Villa, Abuja, on Wednesday.
It would be recalled that the National Economic Council (NEC) had in 2017 approved the one billion dollars to be sourced from the country’s excess crude account for the fight against insurgency and other violent criminal activities across the country.
“What I can add, after all that I have said is to inform you that of recent, our leader, President Muhammadu Buhari gave approval for the purchase of more equipment for the military, worth one billion dollars,’’ the minister said.
He said that the meeting also reviewed the security situation in the country, saying that a Division of the Army had been established in Sokoto to further strengthen the security situation in the North-West region.
He said: “This is a normal meeting of security agencies in the country. As usual, we discussed the current activities that affected most of the states in the federation like Taraba, Zamfara and other states.
“Well, as usual we have operationalised a Division in Sokoto, there will be a Brigade in Katsina and another Brigade in Zamfara that will take care of the security situation in that area.
“The strength of security personnel has increased including the Air Force additional quick response group, they have added enough manpower in that area.’’
According to him, the military is already combing some parts of Taraba State and some weapons have been recovered from civilians.
On the remaining Dapchi schoolgirl (Leah Sharibu) in Boko Haram captivity, Dan-Ali said, “Well, we are making all available efforts to see that the girl is returned safely.”
The Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Gabriel Olanishakin, Service Chiefs, Directors-Generals of Department of State Service and National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Lawal Daura and Ahmed Rufa’I respectively attended the meeting.