By Tom Okpe
Director procurement, Nigeria Air Force, (NAF) AVM M A Yakubu has stated that for the Nigeria Military to be effective in the fight against insecurity and other forms of terrorism, the military needs an annual budget of $2 billion, annually.
Explaining reasons for such demand, Yakubu said many manufacturers of military equipments insist on full payment before production, adding that the cost includes training of personnel to handle certain equipments.
The bill which seeks to address the many inefficiencies in the military by creating an exclusive five-year funding plan, outside the annual budgetary allocations, is also meant for revamping the Nigerian Àrmed Forces through special training for personnel, provision of modern kits and defence equipment.
AVM Yakubu, speaking at the public hearing of House of representatives on Àrmed Forces Aupport Trust Fund Establishment Bill 2021, seeks to explore alternative sources of funding for the Armed Forces of Nigeria in addition to the annual budgetary allocations.
The former Defence Àttachee to the United States, (US) further explained that at a time, the force needed a Tucano aircraft for which 100 percent payment was made in 30 days failure, for which procurement would not have been possible.
“No budgetary allocation would fund such, hence the need for alternative sources of funding for the military to be able to meet up with it’s responsibility,” he noted.
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The chairman, Committee on Defence, Babajimi Benson emphasized the need for alternative and additional sources of funding for the Armed Forces, adding; “it has become even more apparent, considering the myriad of security challenges facing the country.
“In 2020, while Nigeria spent only $2.6 billion on its military, Algeria, Morocco and South Africa expended $9.7 billion, $4.8 billion and $3.1 billion respectively to fund and equip their military.
“Approximately 9 percent of annual budgetary allocation is available for capital expenditure as a large chunk goes for recurrent expenditure.
“Efforts in the past by the Armed Forces to procure needed military hardware and provide requisite training to meet the challenges currently hit the brick wall due to limited financial resources which also underscores the immense importance of the bill.
“Globally, no country adequately finances its Armed Forces solely through annual budgetary allocations.
Nigeria ranks very low on global defense spending and occupies the fourth position in Africa, below Algeria, Morocco, and South Africa despite its numerous security challenges,” he stated.
Read the Source post on Daily Times Nigeria.