By Ikechukwu Okaforadi
The Commandant of the Nigeria Defence Academy (NDA), Major -General Adeniyi Oyebade, has lamented over the N1.3billion shortfalls in the Academy’s budgetary allocation by the Ministry of Finance.
He stated this while defending the 2019 budget of the agency before the senate committee on Defence and Army, where he said the shortfalls had limited the Military Institution from paying non regular allowances to its personnel.
According to him, the allowances affected by the N1.3billion shortfall in 2018 budget releases are hazard, responsible and excess workload allowances.
“Aside the N1.3billion shortfall, out of the N8.9billion capital votes appropriated for the Academy in the 2018 fiscal year, only N4.1billion has been released so far , making the implementation performance within the capital component to be 47% as at this month “, he said .
He added that N9.0billion capital expenditure budget proposal made by the Academy for 2019 fiscal year was reduced to N8billion by the Ministry of Budget and National Planning.
He listed some of the capital projects to be carried out by the Academy in the 2019 capital expenditure component of the proposed budget to include Counter terrorism and Counter Insurgency Village, NDA Sports Complex, Earth Dam, among others.
However, members of the committee, which is chaired by Senator Abubakar Kyari (APC Borno North), observed that while personnel cost component of the Academy, budgetary allocations for 2018 was N8.146billion, the proposed estimates for 2019 is N8.072billion, wondering whether the Academy suffered depletion in staff strength .
But the Commandant in his response said the N8.072billion personnel cost component of the 2019 budget proposal made by the Academy was in line with the envelope given to us to that effect by the Ministry of Budget and National Planning.
“No any drastic depletion in the staff strength of the Academy, it remains well over 2,000 in addition to the 2,000 cadet officers that have to be well kitted and trained aside logistics and administration costs. We definitely need improved funding for overhead costs to keep the Academy in very good shape”, he added.