The Federal Government says it is considering establishing two Disarmament, Deradicalisation, Rehabilitation and Reintegration Centres for repent members of Boko Haram and other terrorists.
According to a presentation made by the Coordinator of the National Counter Terrorism Centre, Rear Admiral Yem Musa (retd.), to the House of Representatives Committee on National Security and Intelligence, this is part of the capital projects of the NCTC for 2023.
Of a capital expenditure of N3, 839,160,000 proposed for next year, N2, 400,000,000 will be spent on the centres.
Babagana Monguno, the National Security Adviser, had on November 17, 2022, led heads of the intelligence community before the committee to defend their respective 2023 budget proposals.
Musa lamented that the NCTC, which is less than one year old, has been battling with a shortage of funds to achieve the purposes for which it was established.
The NCTC presentation, a copy of which our correspondent obtained on Sunday, partly read, “The NCTC was established following the accent to the Terrorism (Prevention and Prohibition) Bill by Mr President on May 12, 2022, as the coordinating body for counter-terrorism and terrorism financing in Nigeria.
“Since its establishment, efforts have been made towards the setting up and operationalisation of the centre. These efforts have not been easy due to lack of funding for the centre since its inception early this year as provision was not made for funding in this year’s budget.
“That is why this maiden budget is key to the effective take-off and operationalisation of the centre to achieve its core mandate.”
Musa told the committee that the projected personnel cost for 2023 was N1,864,889,169, but the Budget Office of the Federation reviewed it downward to N997,152,292.25, which he said, “is insufficient for the Centre considering its proposed staff strength.”
The NCTC coordinator pleaded with the committee to consider and approve the initial sum forwarded by the centre.
While the NCTC proposed allocation of N3, 839,160,000 to its capital projects, the sum was reviewed down to N428, 860,000.
The NCTC coordinator prayed the committee to “facilitate the appropriation of (a) the sum of N1,864,889,169.00 only as personnel cost for the Year 2023; (b) the sum of N5,860,610,050.00 only as overhead cost for the Year 2023; (c) the sum of N3,839,160,000.00 only for the Year 2023 capital expenditure.”
Meanwhile, the National Centre for the Control of Small Arms and Light Weapons, which is domiciled under the Office of the NSA, is demanding allocation of over N5bn for its capital projects in 2023, which include tracking and interception of arms across Nigerian borders.
National Coordinator of the NCCSALW, Major General Mohammed Dikko (retd.), in his presentation to the committee, noted that the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), established the Centre on May 3, 2021, in line with Article 24 of the ECOWAS Convention on Small Arms and Light Weapons.