The Nigerian Army has called for additional funds to effectively combat insecurity in the country.
Farouk Yahaya, the Chief of Army Staff, made the call on Friday when he appeared before the House of Representatives Committee on Army for 2022 budget defence in Abuja.
He said that adequate funding would enable the army to employ modern technologies to combat insecurity in Nigeria.
“Adequate funding will help Nigerian Army to invest in needed technology and platforms to effectively discharge its constitutional roles.
“Nigerian Army, at present must, by necessity of the changing nature of the battle space, develop novel processes, strategies and tactics to overwhelm the enemy in kinetic and non kinetic battles, win hearts and minds and safeguard our nation’s territorial integrity, prestige and honour.
“This require deliberate investment in leadership capacity building, plans strategic procurement of necessary equipment infrastructure, personnel welfare, battle resilience and combat efficiency.
“As we are aware the theatre of operation has expanded beyond the north east to other geopolitical zones in the country,” he said.
Mr Yahaya added: “Therefore the manpower requirements of the Nigerian Army has been increasing to accommodate this attendant needs.’’
Speaking on 2021 budget performance, Mr Yahaya said that the performance of the Nigerian Army budget for personnel emoluments as at October was 78 per cent.
He said that the overhead was 73 per cent while the capital cost as at Oct. 31, 2021 was 100 per cent
Mr Yahaya said that for the 2022 budget, the Nigerian Army has a budget of N710 billion but the budget ceiling from the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning reduced it to N579 billion only.
“This reduction would impede the capacity and tempo of the Nigerian Army in carrying out its constitutional duties particularly in the ongoing war against Boko Haram terrorists and other criminalities across the country.
The Chairman of the Committee, Rep. Abdulrazak Namdas (APC-Adamawa), said that not all that the army proposed would be accepted, adding that “there is an envelope system which is a challenge”.
Speaking with newsmen after a close door meeting, Namdas said that the amount allocated for capital expenditure in 2021 was N29 billion but in the 2022 budget, it was N28 billion saying that instead of going up, it was going down.
“This budget is about capital, you use capital to buy equipment, you use capital to prosecute the war, you use capital to renovate barracks.
“If you are to use the entire N28 billion to renovate the 138 barracks in this country, it will not not take 1/4 of it; so actually the money is very small.
“There is need for us to sit down and see how we can help the army move forward because if you give somebody small amount, he will tell you that it is because you gave him enough money.
“If you hold him responsible, he has a way of dodging the question, give him enough money,’’ he said.