From Jonas Ike, Abuja
The Nigeria Army on Wednesday said that it has earmarked N472.8 billion for the 2019 fiscal ending on December 31 2019 as its total expenditure projections due to ongoing counter-insurgency in the north-eastern part of the country.
Chief of Army Staff Lt-Gen Tukur Buratai made the disclosure at the 2019 Budget Defence of the Nigerian Army with the House of Representatives Committee on Army at the National Assembly Abuja.
He told the Committee that the fund budgeted for is going to be used to prosecute the ongoing war against insurgency in the north-east and criminality in the north-west regions of Nigeria as well as other parts of the country
The Army Chief further told the House Committee that the percentage performance of the Army personnel emoluments was 100% as well as other components of the 2018 budget.
He however lamented that funding has always been a major challenge of the Nigerian Army since its exit from the political scene in 1999 and called for appropriate funding of the Army and other security forces in order to tackle insecurity in Nigeria.
He also regretted that amongst all the nation’s security forces, only the Army does not have an Air wing as other security agencies in the country noting that it is affecting the operational effectiveness of the military force.
On the breakdown of the budget, he said that N350.5 billion is set aside for personnel emoluments, N43.6 bn is for overhead costs while N78.5 billion is for its capital budget of the Nigerian Army in 2019.
Some of the lawmakers at the budget session notably Hon.Aisha Jibril Dukku (Gombe, APC), and Hon.Ogoshi Onawo (Nassarawa,PDP) said that the Nigerian Army is still unconventional ways of fighting insurgency in the country.
Dukku particularly noted that the prevalence of bombing by female insurgents in parts of the north-east of the country and called for more commitment form the Army authorities to stem the ugly trend or nip it on board.
Chairman of the House Committee Hon. Rimande Shawulu however assured the Army Chief that as lawmakers they will do everything within their powers to ensure that the military is adequately funded by the government.