The Nigerian Army on Wednesday lamented over slashing of it’s proposed 2022 budget size from N710billion it to N579billion approved by the Ministry of Finance and Budget office for the fiscal year .
The Army through its Chief of Staff, Lt – General Farouk Yahaya , who made this known before the Senate Committee on Army stated that the reduction of its budget will impede its operational efficiency.
The Chief of Army Staff, therefore, asked the Committee to facilitate the exclusion of the Army and other military outfits from the envelope budgeting system.
He said: “In preparing for Year 2022 Budget, the Nigerian Army ( NA) proposed about the sum of Seven Hundred and Ten Billion Naira (N710b) 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.
” I therefore passionately appeal to this Committee to impress it on the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning to begin the release of Year 2022 Nigerian Army Capital Budget in the First Quarter 2022.
“This would help the Nigerian Army to 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 boss said the sum of N642.7billion only should be approved for the Nigerian Army Personnel Emolument for Year 2022 Budget, N29.6billion be approved for overhead, N37.6billion for 2022 capital projects.
Lamenting further, the Army Boss said:: ” The National Assembly should cause the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, to begin the release of Year 2022 Nigerian Army Capital Budget in the First Quarter of the fiscal year.
“The National Assembly should prevail on the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning to exempt the Nigerian Army from the current budget ceiling or envelope allocation system”.
He, however, added that despite the inadequate funding, that the Nigerian Army remains committed to securing the territorial integrity of Nigeria from any violation, as the clearance operation to rid our 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 fulfillment 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.
“We shall push for their exclusion from the system and inclusion in the first line charge ” , he said.