From Ndubuisi Orji, Abuja
Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, has said that 91 percent of funds appropriated for the Armed Forces is spent on recurrent expenditure, leaving only nine per cent for capital projects.
He said troops are grossly underfunded to face the security challenges in the country, especially the insurgency in the North East.
Gbajabiamila stated this, yesterday, while declaring open a one-day public lecture on Armed Forces Support Trust Fund (Establishment) Bill, 2021.
The speaker, who was represented by the House leader, Alhassan Ado-Doguwa, noted that the military requires more funding for the acquisition of modern weapons and trainings, to succeed in the fight against terrorism and other security challenges.
He said the myriad of security challenges confronting the country has continued to militate against the developmental efforts of the government.
Consequently, Gbajabiamila noted that the bill is imperative to source for more funds for the military, outside the annual appropriation, to enable the army win the war against insecurity.
“The fact based on appropriation records is that about 91% of the current funding to the Armed Forces go on recurrent overhead, salaries and welfare, leaving only 9% for capital purchases.
“This reality has prompted this 9th House of Representatives to seek a way of providing funds that will be focused on the Capital needs and training of our Armed Forces.
“Nigeria’s expenditure on military hardware and training in the last five years hovers between a paltry nine to 11 percent of the total annual budgetary allocation to the Armed Forces.
“This is grossly incapable of empowering the military to face the security challenges in the country, especially the insurgency in the North East. To succeed in this fight, the Armed Forces of Nigeria requires more funding for modern weapons and required trainings.
“Spending on military hardware must definitely increase, to support the zeal and commitment already being exhibited by our soldiers,” Gbajabiamila stated.”