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Nigerian Army laments reduction in 2022 Budget, labels it unhealthy and heightens insecurity

The Nigerian Army has lamented the reduction of its budget from N710 billion earlier proposed to N579 billion in the 2022 appropriation year.

Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Farouk Yahaya who appeared before the Senate Committee on Army chaired by Senator Ali Mohammed Ndume said the reduction which was carried out by the Federal Ministry of Finance and the Budget office was unhealthy amid heightening insecurity in the nation.

The Army pleaded with the lawmakers to remove them from the envelope budgeting system which he maintained was hampering their operations.

He said, “In preparing for the year 2022 budget, the Nigerian Army (NA) proposed about the sum of N710 billion 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 (N579b) 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.

“The detail of this request is contained in the Nigerian Army Year 2022 Budget Defence booklet earlier submitted to this Distinguished Committee.

He appealed to the Committee to intervene so that its capital budget releases would be within the first quarter of 2022.

According to the Army, early capital releases would help the Nigerian Army 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”.

In specific terms, the Army Chief said the sum of N642.7 billion only should be approved for the Nigerian Army Personnel Emolument for the year 2022 Budget, N29.6 billion for overhead and N37.6 billion for 2022 capital projects.

He, however, added that despite the inadequate funding, that the Nigerian Army remain committed to securing the territorial integrity of Nigeria from any violation, as the clearance operation to rid the country of Boko Haram terrorists and other criminal groups are still ongoing.

“The timely and complete implementation of the year 2022 budget will thus enhance the fulfilment of the NA’s constitutional mandate and thus engender peace for socio-economic development of our country Nigeria”, he stressed.

Buttressing the submissions of the Army Chief, the Chairman of the Committee, Senator Mohammed Ali Ndume ( APC Borno South ), said it is wrong to put the security agencies in envelope budgeting.

“As a committee, the budgetary allocations proposed for the Nigerian Army in 2022 is grossly inadequate, the very reason envelope budgeting should not be used for the military at this time of serious security challenges in the country.

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