The Nigerian Army has urged the National Assembly to increase its budget by N18. 177 billion to enable it effectively fight against terrorism, pipeline vandalism and other security challenges.
It also said it should be removed from the zero based budgeting (ZBB) otherwise known as the envelop budget ceiling system adopted by the Budget Office of the Federation.
Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, the Chief of Army Staff, made the demands on Thursday during a budget defence session with the House committee on army
According to him, the envelop budgeting system was making the Army ineffective operationally and this is against the grains of current reforms being carried out.
The Army, he said requires at least N39, 800 billion capital components and had requested for N261.6 billion, but the Budget Office approved only N233.05 billion in the budget estimates, currently with the National Assembly.
To allow the service tackle “increasing accommodation deficit, high demand for operational equipment, vehicles, arms and ammunitions in various operations areas across the country,” the Green Chamber needs to increase the budget by N18 billion he noted.
“It is in consideration of the aforementioned priorities, coupled with the new NA ORBAT implementation that the NA is seeking your kind appropriation of the sum of N39,800,211,098 billion for capital expenditure” he said.
Buratai noted that in compliance with the budget ceiling given by the ministry of budget and national planning, only N21.623 billion was proposed and that the disparity between the actual capital budget requirement and the ceiling instituted by the ministry of budget and national planning is a “matter that calls for a more in-depth consideration by the National Assembly.”
“My passionate appeal for N18.177 billion over the ceiling capital appropriation, if approved by this hallowed chamber will enable the Army procure the strategic assets and platforms needed to support the implementation of ORBAT 2016.
“This will also boost the operational activation of the newly established Divisions (6,7, and 8), cater for the deficiency of arms, ammunitions as well as uniforms to kit the NA personnel.
“I wish to state that the approval will ultimately enhance the functionality of the Nigerian Army Aviation corps which is established to complement the efforts of the Nigerian Airforce and Joint Task Force (JTF) to combat terrorism, pipeline vandalism and other security challenges”
Lawmakers agreed that because of current challenges being faced by the Army to tackle insurgency, there was need for it to have some measure of budgetary flexibility, and so the need to remove it from the envelop budgeting system.
Hon. Rimam Shawulu, Chairman of the committee, noted that Army barracks across the country were dilapidated. Recent oversight visits of the committee, shows that rather than renovation old buildings, it was better to start up new structures.
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