2022 Budget: Nigerian Army Decries N579Bn Provision

*The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt.-Gen. Faruk Yahaya
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The Chief of Army Staff, Lt-General Farouk Yahaya, has faulted the reduction in the 2022 budgetary provision for the Nigerian Army by the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning.

Addressing the Senate Committee on Army, on Wednesday, during the Year 2021 Budget appraisal and defence of the Year 2022 Budget Proposal, General Yahaya told the lawmakers that the budget estimate fell short of the expectations of the Nigerian Army to combat the prevailing banditry across the country and stem the tide of insurgency in the North East and North-West.

He noted that adequate funding will help the NA to invest in needed technology and platforms to effectively discharge its constitutional mandate.

Tribune Online checks revealed that the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning had slashed the budget proposal of the Nigerian Army from N710 billion to N579 billion.

The Chief of Army Staff further argued that to overwhelm the enemy in kinetic and non-kinetic battles and safeguard the nation territorial integrity, prestige and honour, there must be deliberate investment in leadership capacity building, planned strategic procurement of necessary equipment and infrastructure, personnel welfare, battle resilience and combat efficiency.

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He said: “In preparing for the Year 2022 Budget, the NA proposed about the sum of Seven Hundred and Ten Billion Naira (N710B) only. However, the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning budget ceiling reduced it to a total sum of Five Hundred and Seventy-Nine Billion Naira (N579bn) only.

“This reduction would impede the capacity and tempo of the Nigerian Army in carrying out its constitutional duties particularly the ongoing war against Boko Haram terrorists and other criminalities across the country.”

Apart from seeking for the removal of the Nigerian Army from the existing envelope budget system which he noted “over the years have been a major challenge inadequately funding the NA for its constitutional duties,” the Chief of Army Staff also pleaded with the Senate Committee on Army led by Senator Ali Ndume “to impress it on the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning to begin the release of the Year 2022 Nigerian Army Capital Budget in the First Quarter 2022. This would help the Nigerian Army to rehabilitate dilapidated accommodations in over 138 barracks and training facilities across NA units/formations as well as procure the needed equipment and platforms to prosecute the war against terrorism and other criminalities across the country.”

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Speaking with newsmen shortly after the closed-door session with the COAS who led other senior military officers to the National Assembly, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Army, Ali Ndume agreed with General Yahaya that the provision for the Army to combat insurgency and banditry was grossly inadequate.

He assured the COAS that his Committee would seek an audience with the Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed to ensure front-loading of the fund meant for the Nigerian Army.

“We found out that what is given is quite inadequate. You can’t give them a ceiling when actually the security challenges are beyond the ceiling. There is no price tag for peace. The situation of putting them in an envelope under the situation we found ourselves don’t arise. We must give them the resources in order to prosecute this war and also have well-equipped army formations.

“We are also going to meet with the Minister of Finance to ensure front-loading of their fund.”

 

 

(Nigerian Tribune)

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