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National Security: Budget Reduction Will Impede Nigerian Army’s Capacity, Says COAS

The Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Faruk Yahaya, has said the reduction in the army budget will prevent the army from tackling the nation’s security challenges.

He stated this on Wednesday while defending the Army’s 2022 budget before the Senate Committee on Army.

Yahaya asked the National Assembly to convince the Federal Government to exempt the Army from the current budget ceiling or envelope allocation system.

According to the army chief, the sum of N579bn approved for the Nigerian Army for the 2022 fiscal year was grossly inadequate to fight terrorism and banditry in the country.

Lieutenant-General Yahaya urged the Senate panel to approve the sum of N642.7bn as the Nigerian Army personnel emolument for the 2022 budget.

He also requested the approval of N29.6bn as overhead cost and N37.6bn as capital expenditure.

“In preparing for the year 2022 budget, the Nigerian Army proposed the sum of N710bn. However, the budget ceiling of the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning reduced our proposed sum from N710bn to a total sum of N579bn,” he said.

“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 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.”

“The timely and complete implementation of the 2022 budget will thus enhance the fulfilment of the Nigerian Army’s constitutional mandate and thus engender peace for the socio-economic development of our country Nigeria.”

He assured the panel that the Nigerian Army was committed to securing the territorial integrity of Nigeria from any violation.

The COAS also lamented the global COVID-19 pandemic, noting it has affected socio-economic activities including that of Nigeria, adding that the attendant negative consequences contributed to allowed insecurity in the country.

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