Nigeria not serious about fighting insecurity with N29b budget for army , says Ndume
The chairman of the Senate Committee on army, Ali Ndume, has expressed his displeasure over the paltry sum of N29b budgeted for army’s capital expenditure out of a total budget of over 13t for 2021.
Ndume said the amount allocated for the army in the budget shows Nigeria is not serious about tackling insecurity.
The lawmaker said this while featuring on a Channels Television programme last night.
Ndume, who is the lawmaker representing Borno South Senatorial District in the red chamber, argued that countries like Cameroon, Chad and others in the Lake Chad basin, confronting insurgency challenge, spend more on their military compared to Nigeria.
He said Nigeria is facing a difficult situation with the Boko Haram insurgency and the priority should be ensuring more funds for the military.
“If your house is on fire, are you going to measure the water to put off the fight? We are in trouble in the north-east particularly,” he said.
“Go and check the Nigerian army budget for this year that we want to review upward; it is less than N30 billion for capital and that is what they used to buy ammunition and other supplies (that) we are talking about.
“It is less than N30 billion and the budget of Nigeria is more than N13 trillion. Does that show any seriousness in any way? If we do not have peace, then all these things you are talking about, of what use are they going to be?
“Go and check what Nigeria is spending on militarily and compare it with that of Chad that is poorer than us, or Niger (Republic). Go and see the Nigerian soldiers and the Cameroonian soldiers. Their kitting is different from our own. It is superior to our own despite the fact that they are poor because they placed priority on their security.”
Speaking on how the insurgents procure their arms, Ndume said most of the ammunition in possession of terrorists we’re stolen from the military.
The senator said although the insurgents get small arms from Libya and Chad, most of their arsenals were stolen from Nigerian troops.
“Most of the insurgents, they do hit-and-run. Like now, they are trying to do that because the heat is much from the Nigerian army, the new army commander is putting heat on them, they are desperate to get arms and ammunition.
“Most of the arms and ammunition they use are the ones they succeed in carting away from the Nigerian soldiers and other armed forces and security agencies.
“I know they have small arms coming up there from like Libya, Chad, and all that but the bulk of their equipment are those they succeeded in stealing from our armed forces.”