From Ndubuisi Orji, Abuja
The Defence Headquarters has said that a minimum of $2billion is needed annually for the next three years to address the need of the armed forces.
Director of Production, Defence Headquarters, Air Vice Marshall M. A. Yakubu, stated this, while speaking at a public hearing by the House of Representatives Committee on Defence on Armed Forces Trust Fund Bill.
Yakubu said the current budgeting system does not take into consideration the actual needs of the military.
“We have run into problems where even working with approved budget envelopes, we have gone ahead to sign contracts for procurement of equipment and suddenly the exchange rate collapses on us and we are unable to fund it. We have found ourselves every year running back to the Federal Government for interventions. This is not sustainable. For a start we need a bulk sum because of many of these manufacturers of equipment require 100 per cent down payment to even start production. So you cannot sign a contract example with the US manufacturers and pay 15 per cent mobilisation as required by the procurement act. Nobody would look at you. Their terms must be followed. Many times we are asked to pay 100 per cent. The example is the super Tucano.”
He said if the military could get $2billion annually, in the next three years, for a start, (which amounts fo $6billion) it would help to address its funding challenges.