The Nigerian Army yesterday said that resources at its disposal were not enough to combat the current security challenges confronting the nation.
The Nigerian Army’s Chief of Accounts and Budget, Major-General Abdullahi Muraina, disclosed this at the opening of the 2014 training week of Nigerian Army Finance Corps for Warrant Officer/Senior Non-Commissioned Officers held at Jaji, Kaduna yesterday.
According to him, “Currently, budgetary allocation for the military is inadequate to meet the contemporary security challenges and also cater for the welfare of the Nigerian Army.
“The Nigerian Army is enmeshed in the bureaucratic bottlenecks for the funding approvals for military operations. This calls for a review, as the increasing speed at which the effects of conflict appear in the operational environment will continue to challenge commanders.
“It is our humble appeal that government could evolve other means of funding and supporting military operations other than the normal budgetary allocation. Such means include, but not limited to, strategic cooperation and liaison with other civil industries for the production of uniforms and other equipment”, he said.
Speaking in a chat with newsmen, General Muraina stressed further that, “we are not oblivious of the constraint on revenue generation and the fact that government has so many other responsibilities; but we are appealing to the government to review the current template of funding of the military, considering the current security challenges.
“For instance, the army budget for this year is just N4.8billion. Now, to provide only one item for the troops engaged in the operation in the North-East. Assuming we committed 20,000 troops, the jacket and the helmet is in the average of about $1,000, if you change that to naira, it is about N150,000, if you now have about 20,000 troops, this means, they are going to spend about $20million and that is about N3billion naira.
“N3billion as a percentage of N4.8billion, which is the capital budget for this year, is more than 50 percent and that is just one item; we are not talking about uniforms, boots or structures where they will stay; we are not talking about training, because training is key to enhancing the capability of the force”, he explained.
Declaring the training open, the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt. Gen. Kenneth Minimah said, the increasing wave of socio-political and ethno-religious crisis threatening the nation’s security lately had left serious demands on the Nigerian Army’s resources.
While noting that funding was fundamental to containing the security challenges, the COAS, who was represented by the GOC 1 Division, Nigerian Army, Maj. Gen. Kenneth Osuji therefore, charged the Finance Corps to be prudent and efficient in the management and application of available funds.