Tom Okpe, Abuja
Nigeria Air Force (NAF) Director of Procurement, AVM M. A. Yakubu, has stated that for the country’s military to be effective in its fight against terrorism and other forms of Insecurity, it needs an annual budget of $2 billion.
Explaining reasons for such demand, Yakubu said many manufacturers of military equipment insist on full payment before production, adding that the cost includes training of personnel to handle certain items.
AVM Yakubu was speaking at the public hearing of the House of Representatives on Armed Forces Support Trust Fund Establishment Bill 2021, seeking to explore alternative sources of funding for the Armed Forces of Nigeria in addition to the annual budgetary allocations.
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 Armed Forces through special training for personnel, provision of modern kits and defence equipment.
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.
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 it’s Armed Forces solely through annual budgetary allocations.
Nigeria ranks very low on global defence spending and occupies the fourth position in Africa, below Algeria, Morocco and South Africa despite its numerous security challenges,” he stated.
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