Joe Effiong, Uyo
The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), General Tukur Buratai, has called for improved funding for the Army to tackle the current challenges in the fight against insurgency.
He made the call at the opening of the 12th Biennial Training Conference of the Nigerian Army Finance Corps in Uyo, yesterday.
The COAS was represented by the General Officer Commanding, 6 Division, Nigerian Army, Jamil Sarham.
The theme of the conference was ‘Expanding Roles of the Nigerian Army in Internal Security Operations: Funding Imperatives.’
Buratai said the current funding for the army was inadequate when matched with the requirements for the internal security of the nation.
He, however, lauded reforms in public sector, such as cashless policy, treasury single account and Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information (IPPIS), saying it had prevented leakages.
The army chief said that some of the policies would affect the optimal performance of the army and its core competencies, if not well managed.
“The Nigerian Army will continue to ensure prudence and accountability in the utilisation of available resources. It was to this end, that I authorised the establishment of Directorate of Audit and Financial Management (DAFM), which reports directly to my office.
“The essence is to ensure judicious application of all appropriated funds disbursed to the Nigerian army formations and units. The DAFM has supported the army in deriving value for money in its financial transactions and application of funds,” said Buratai.
He said that the Army had devised new strategies to combat insurgents in the country, and urged the personnel to remain loyal to constituted authority and submit to civil rule.
“All personnel should remain committed to global best practices by strict adherence to the rules of engagement and code of conduct,” he said.
Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom said government alone could not fund the military.
Governor Emmanuel, who was represented by Akan Okon, Commissioner for Economic Development, said the private sector should also fund the operations of the army.
He commended the army for its role in curbing insurgency, kidnapping, banditry and other security challenges.
Chief of Account and Budget for the Army, Adekola Bakare, said the conference was held to enunciate the challenges posed by inadequate funding of army operations.
Bakare said that the conference would afford participants the opportunity to conduct detailed appraisal of the current policies and procedures.
He said the conference was geared towards repositioning the corps to provide transparent and efficient services to the army and was also a forum for capacity building.