RIDICULOUS!!! COAS Cries Out As Army Budget Is Slashed Amid Rising Insecurity, Predicts Negative Effects Of Decision.
The Nigerian Army, through the Chief of Army Staff, COAS, has raised an alarm over the cutting of its budget for the 2022 fiscal year.
This is coming at a time the country is facing its worse security challenge since the civil war. The security challenge which was previously more prevalent in the northern part of the country is starting to spread to other parts of the country.
The Federal Government has as a result of this charged the Army to ramp up the fight against the elements behind the insecurity.
But with the slashing of the budget of the army, it will become a lot more difficult for the army to carry out the assignment to crush insecurity.
Army Laments Budgetary Cut
Lieutenant-General Faruk Yahaya, the COAS, on Wednesday urged the National Assembly to prevail on the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning to exempt the army from the envelope budgeting system.
According to DailyTrust, Yahaya, while appearing before the Senate Committee on Army to defend the army’s 2022 budget proposal, said the envelope budgeting had been a major challenge to the army.
He said the army had proposed N710bn for the 2022 fiscal year, but the finance ministry reduced it to N579bn.
Yahaya said: “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.”
He urged the committee to approve for the army, N642.7bn for personnel emolument; N29.6bn for overhead and N37.6bn for capital in 2022.
He also appealed to the National Assembly to cause the finance ministry to begin the release of its 2022 capital allocation in the first quarter of next year.
This, he said, would help the army to rehabilitate dilapidated accommodations in over 138 barracks and training facilities across units and formations as well as procure the needed equipment and platforms to prosecute the war against terrorism and other criminalities across the country.
While reiterating the army’s commitment to ridding the country of Boko Haram terrorists and other criminal groups, he said timely and complete implementation of the 2022 budget would enable the army to fulfil its mandate.
Senate’s Response To Army’s Lamentation
The chairman of the committee, Senator Ali Ndume, said the budgetary allocation to the army was grossly inadequate.
He also faulted the system of ceiling the budgetary allocation of security agencies in a country battling acute insecurity, saying, “there’s no price tag for peace.”
“You need to give the military what they need because there’s no price tag for peace. We’re going to look at their requirements and treat the budget accordingly,” he said.
Senate President Lawan Calls For Increased Funding For Military
Nigeria’s Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, in September while lamenting the growing insecurity in the country called for increased funding for the military.
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He said the biggest challenge that the Federal Government must prioritise and tackle at the moment with constant engagement with the legislature was the menace of insecurity.
He stated, “Let me applaud and commend our gallant armed forces for the recent success recorded in their fight against insurgency and banditry in our country.
“I want to urge them to sustain the campaign until the insurgents and bandits are rooted out of our country.
“We approved the supplementary budget request of the Executive in July this year, just before we proceeded for the annual summer recess.”
The Senate President added, “The National Assembly approved over N800bn for our security and intelligence agencies.
“While that provision was appropriate and indeed necessary, we should sustain the trajectory of increase in funds and resources for the security sector.
“Therefore, we should consider a ramp up of more resources for our security agencies in the 2022 appropriation bill.
“This also requires that our defence and intelligence related committees must step up their oversight on the agencies.”
Federal Government Demands Rejigging Of Military
While the Senate is clearly united in its demand for more funding for the military, the Federal Government on the other hand is pushing for a reform of the military to help it combat rising insecurity.
In October, Boss Mustapha, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, argued that rejigging Nigeria’s military architecture will help put an end to the country’s fight against insecurity.
Speaking when he received the 24-member advisory committee on the reform of the armed forces and defence in Abuja, Mustapha said the territorial nature of the country calls for a military reform.
The committee, chaired by Alwali Kazir, was inaugurated in September by Bashir Magashi, minister of defence, to drive the recommendations on the reform of armed forces.
The committee is also to effect a seven-point term of reference, examine the recommendations of the reform committee’s report and classify them into immediate, short, medium, and long term as appropriate.
The SGF described the reform process as a step in the right direction and assured the committee of his commitment to see to the approval of the recommendations.
“Reforms are critical and difficult to implement, but the step taken by the ministry of defence is a right step in the right direction to address security challenges,” Mustapha said.
“The reasons we are still battling with insecurity is because we have not reformed our military architecture, and considering the territorial nature of our country, there is a need for the security rejig.
“I am committed to anything that will transform the armed forces and in any capacity, I will do my best for the necessary approval.”
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