By Christiana Ekpa
The Defence Space Administration (DSA) on Tuesday appealed to the House of Representatives’ Committee on Defence to increase its 2022 proposed budget by N14.498 billion.
The increment includes the prayer for the upward review of the DAS proposed overhead budget of N280.3 million to N1.2 billion and the capital proposal of N1.41 billion to N13. 29 billion for the 2022 fiscal year.
The Chief of Defence Space Administration, Williams Kayode
who made the appeal during budget defence session before the House Committe on Defence also called for the upward review of the DAS proposed personnel emolument budget of N1.38 billion for 2022.
He said the Administration will perform at its optimal level if funded adequately, which is the reason for the yearning for improved funding to actualise its mandate of supporting other security agencies’ operations in peace and war time and also to provide resilient cybersecurity tools in protection of Nigeria’ cyberspace.
“An attempt to strictly conform to the FGN 2022 Budget Call Circular, the Administration proposes the sum of N280,360,000.01 only for Overhead which translates to about N23,000,000.00 only on monthly basis which is an improvemeont from the N15,000,000.00 monthly average.
“Although the sum of N3,298,500,000.00 only was originally proposed for capital projects in 2022 fiscal year with, this was pruned down to the sum of N1,413,417,437.00 sequel to the budget ceiling handed down by the Ministry of Finance.
“The sum of N1,385,934,502.62 is proposed for Personnel Emolument in 2022 fiscal year. This sum is to carter for the Salaries of the civilian staff, Non Regular Allowances for the Military Personnel and Civilian Staff, the National Health Insurance Scheme and Contributory Pension for the civilian staff and the 0.82 Per cent provision for contingency.”
The Chairman of the House Committee, Babajimi Benson
assured DAS of legislative interventions to increase funding for it especially the capital components to enable it perform optimally in the task of providing space information to Nigerian armed forces.
“We looked at their capital budget, we looked at their overhead, and personnel. As usual they want more , because they want to do more. But the resources are scarce and limited, so we will try as much as possible to see how we can help assist them.
“The DSA is an agency we don’t toy with. In other jurisdictions the DSA Chief is also a Service Chief, so our committee members are all geared up to ensure that they get the necessary assistance so that they can live up to expectations that we expect from them.
“We are going to do our best to try and see how we can upscale them. Do you think we can win the fight against insecurity. We can win the battle, we are winning the battle, we are getting more inventory by the day , a lot of countries are supporting us. We are getting much support from many countries as possible”, he noted.