Ndume speaks on N29bn capital budget for army, says Nigeria not serious about fighting insecurity
Senator representing Borno south, Ali Ndume has stated that N29 billion budgeted for the army’s capital expenditure in 2021 shows Nigeria is not serious about tackling insecurity.
This was stated by the federal lawmaker while speaking during a Channnels TV prpgramme on Thursday.
Ndume argued that countries like Chad and Cameroon spend more on their military compared to Nigeria.
There have been calls for improved funding for the Nigerian army following sustained attacks by Boko Haram insurgents in the northeast.
Recall that the chief of army staff, Ibrahim Attahiru recently requested the senate to allocate more funds to the military to purchase weapons.
According to Ndume, who is the chairman of the senate committee on army, Nigeria is facing a difficult situation with the Boko Haram insurgency and the priority should be ensuring more funds for the military.
“If your house is on fire, are you going to measure the water to put off the fight? We are in trouble in the north-east particularly,” he said.
“Go and check the Nigerian army budget for this year that we want to review upward; it is less than N30 billion for capital and that is what they used to buy ammunition and other supplies (that) we are talking about.
“It is less than N30 billion and the budget of Nigeria is more than N13 trillion. Does that show any seriousness in any way? If we do not have peace, then all these things you are talking about, of what use are they going to be?
“Go and check what Nigeria is spending on militarily and compare it with that of Chad that is poorer than us, or Niger (Republic). Go and see the Nigerian soldiers and the Cameroonian soldiers. Their kitting is different from our own. It is superior to our own despite the fact that they are poor because they placed priority on their security.”
Ndume further said most of the ammunition used by the insurgents operating in the northern part of the country were stolen from the military.
The senator said although the insurgents get small arms from Libya and Chad, most of their arsenals were stolen from Nigerian troops.
“Most of the insurgents, they do hit-and-run. Like now, they are trying to do that because the heat is much from the Nigerian army, the new army commander is putting heat on them, they are desperate to get arms and ammunition.
“Most of the arms and ammunition they use are the ones they succeed in carting away from the Nigerian soldiers and other armed forces and security agencies.
“I know they have small arms coming up there from like Libya, Chad, and all that but the bulk of their equipment are those they succeeded in stealing from our armed forces.”