Nigeria’s Military Chiefs Got N238bn for Weapons, Others In 2 Years

The Ministry of Defence together with the Defence Headquarters, the army, navy and air force got over N238bn in 2018 and 2019 to fight insecurity and implement their programmes and operations, according to reports from the Budget Office of the Federation.

According to SUNDAY PUNCH, the 2018 and 2019 Budget Implementation Reports was from the Budget Office on Thursday. The report stated that the Defence Ministry, the DHQ and the three arms of the military budgeted over N316bn for its operations and programmes in the two years.

The Federal Government, however, released about N238bn, which represents about 75 per cent of the appropriation.

Within the same period, the spate of the Boko Haram insurgency, banditry and violence in the country had gone up and at least 71 soldiers had been killed by terrorists and bandits between January and July, 2020 alone.

This casualty figure was gathered from the official armed forces’ releases, while military sources believe that the casualty figure would be in hundreds.

The 2018 Budget Implementation Report,

“The mandate of the defence ministry is to provide administrative and support services, timely and effectively to enable the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to maintain the territorial integrity of the country.

“In order to prepare the Nigeria Armed Forces for combat on Land, Sea and Air, the government allocated a total of N157.72bn in the 2018 Budget to implement its capital projects and programmes.

“Out of this amount, N132.77 bn was released and cash-backed while N126.17bn was utilised as at the end of the fourth quarter of the year. For the navy, the sum of N27.45bn was allocated in the 2018 budget to implement its capital projects and programmes. Out of this amount, N23.78bn was released, cash-backed and utilised as at the end of the fiscal year.

“The Nigeria Air Force is charged with the responsibility of providing air defence to the nation and ensuring the integrity of the airspace by gaining and maintaining control of the nation’s airspace. To achieve this objective, a total of N44.65bn was allocated to this arm of the military to implement its capital projects and programmes. Out of this amount, N27.83bn was released, cash backed and utilised in the 2018 fiscal year.”

Meanwhile, for the 2019 report, the government allocated a total of N159bn for the military’s capital projects and programmes; it later released N106.84bn.

These sums are different from the $1bn, which the Federal Government approved from the Excess Crude Account to fight the Boko Haram insurgency in the North-East in December 2017.

The approval had been given at the 83rd National Economic Council at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, after a meeting that was also attended by the Nigerian Governors Forum.

It is not clear yet how and when the military got the monies, although part of the money was reportedly used to pay for the Super Tucano aircraft still being expected from the United States of America.

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