Budget reduction will impede operational efficiency, Army warns

*Seeks exclusion from envelope budgeting

By Benjamin Arida://

Chief of Army Staff, COAS, Lt – General Farouk Yahaya, has declared that the reduction of the Army’s budget size would impede its operational efficiency.

This was even as General Yahaya requested the Senate Committee on Army to facilitate the exclusion of the Army and other military outfits from envelope budgeting system.

The COAS, who stated these to the Senate Committee on Army during budget defence complained bitterly over reduction of the Army budget size from N710billion it proposed to N579billion approved  by the Minister of Finance and the Budget Office for the 2022 fiscal year.

He said: “In preparing for Year 2022 Budget, the Nigerian Army (NA) proposed about the sum of Seven Hundred and Ten Billion Naira (N710billion) 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 (N579billion) 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 M is a 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 Nigerian Army personnel emolument for Year 2022 Budget, N29.6billion be approved for overhead , N37.6billion for 2022 capital projects .

General Yahaya, while lamenting further, 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 remain 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 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. “We shall push for their exclusion from the system and inclusion in the first line charge,” he said.

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