By Enyichukwu Enemanna
Nigeria’s National Security Adviser (NSA), has said the administration of President Bola Tinubu inherited what he called an empty treasury upon assuming power in May, saying it is responsible for the financial distress plaguing the country at the moment.
Nuhu Ribadu is an ally of former President Muhammadu Buhari, accused of indiscriminate borrowing between 2015-2023 as the President of the West African country.
Buhari handed over to his successor, Tinubu of the same All Progressives Congress (APC) political family on May 29.
Ribadu, while delivering a lecture at the Chief of Defence Intelligence Annual Conference 2023 in Abuja on Monday acknowledged the severe financial constraints affecting budgetary allocations but reassured the nation that the federal government is committed to maintaining a robust and viable defense management and mechanism.
“I assure you that the federal government will not rest on its oars in ensuring a robust and viable defence management and security apparatus to address contemporary challenges even in the face of enormous budgetary constraints.
“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!
“But this administration is doing its best to meet our requirements, particularly the armed forces, and I believe that you leaders will be able to testify to that,” Ribadu said
He commended the armed forces for their dedication to addressing prevailing security challenges, both within and outside Nigeria, noting positive changes and improvements.
While urging unity and support for the country’s security agencies, Ribadu expressed confidence that with leadership resolve, the nation would overcome its current difficulties.
“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.
“We are just four or five months old, but certainly things have changed and we believe that what they are doing, they are doing it right. We want to encourage them, stand by them and support them 100 percent and hopefully, this country will be okay in a short time,” he added.
Ribadu pointed to recent coups in Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, Gabon, and Guinea, characterizing them as sudden reversals of democratic fortunes. He stated the importance of defense diplomacy in pursuing strategic engagements with allies and partners to achieve national security objectives.
The APC government which dislodged the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in 2015 has repeatedly accused the former causing the nation’s financial crisis with massive corruption and mismanagement, an allegation PDP has denied.