In a news report on Sahara Reporters, the head of the Nigerian army’s account and budget, Major General Abdullahi Muraina, today (May 22, 2014) claimed that the army does not have the robust financial allocations to successfully counter the Boko Haram insurgency.
|Chief of Army Staff, General Kenneth Minimah|
General Muraina made the assertion in Jaji, Kaduna State while addressing the media. He said it was urgent to review the army’s financial constraints to enable the force to rise to the challenge of combating the spreading attacks of Boko Haram militants. The general’s claims about inadequate funding are startling in view of the fact that Nigeria budgeted more than $6 billion for security operations last year.
Below is the statement by the army general:
“Currently, budgetary allocation for the military is inadequate to meet the contemporary security challenges and also cater for the welfare of the Nigerian Army. The Nigerian Army is enmeshed in the bureaucratic bottlenecks for the funding approvals for military operations. This calls for a review as the increasing speed at which the effects of conflict appear in the operational environment will continue to challenge commanders.
“It is our humble appeal that [the] government should evolve other means of funding and supporting military operations than the normal budgetary allocation. Such means include but not limited to strategic cooperation and liaison with other civil industries for the production of uniforms and other equipment.
“We are not oblivious of the constraint on revenue generation and the fact that [the] government has so many other responsibilities, but we are appealing to the government to review the current template of funding of the military, considering the current security challenges.
“For instance, the army budget for this year is just N4.8 billion. Assuming we committed 20,000 troops to the Northeast operations, the jacket and helmet is in the average of about $1,000. If you change that to naira, it is about N150, 000. If you now have about 20,000 troops, this means that they are going to spend about $20 million and that is about N3 billion.
“N3 billion as a percentage of N4.8 billion which is the capital budget for this year is more than 50 per cent and that is just one item. We are not talking about uniforms, boots or structures where they will stay. We are not talking about training, because training is key to enhancing the capability of the force.”