Ndume, Namdas: N100bn for Armed Forces in 2020 budget grossly insufficient
The Chairmen of the National Assembly (NASS) joint committee on Army, Senator Muhammed Ali Ndume and Hon. Abdulrazaq Namdas have bemoaned the low budgetary allocation for the Nigerian Armed Forces, saying the N100bn allocated to the Armed Forces in the 2020 appropriation bill is grossly insufficient.
They both made this known when they led a delegation of the Senate and House Committee on Army, to visit the Chief of Army of Army Staff (COAS), Lieutenant General Tukur Yusuf Buratai, at the Army Headquarters in Abuja.
Sen. Ndume, who acknowledged the efforts of the Army in tackling insurgency, and other emerging security threats across the country, said there is need for their joint committee to robustly engage with the leadership of the Army with a view to addressing some of their challenges.
“Our NASS’ joint committee is very important. We fill in the gap for the Nigerian Army in the NASS. Among other things, we are glad that the Army is living up to expectation in tackling the myriads of threats to internal security in the country,” he said.
On his part, Hon. Namdas, lauded the Army for independently sourcing for funds to execute some of its programmes and activities such as manufacturing of various equipment of warfare such as Armored Personnel Carriers, gun trucks, bullet vests and other modern fighting ammunition.
Namdas, stressed the need for government to create what he called a ‘war budget’ for the Army in order for them to permanently wipe out terrorists and end insurgency in the North East.
He further disclosed that a bill on how the Army can be adequately funded independently without relying on the allocation captured in the national budget has already been tabled on the floor of the house.
Responding, Lt. Gen. Buratai, assured the Committee members that the Army, under his leadership, will continue to carry out its constitutional responsibilities diligently, responsively and professionally.
He said though the Nigerian Army has continue to sponsor its officers and men for training both locally and internationally, more funds are required to help them effectively prosecute some of its operations and programmes.