Reps panel tells army: We are worried about spate of banditry
The house of representatives committee on the army has stated that it is worried about banditry and terrorism in the country.
This was stated on Thursday by chairman of the committee, Abdulrazak Namdas in Abuja when Stephenson Olabanji, commander, Training and Doctrine Command, Nigerian Army (TRADOC), appeared before the lawmakers.
Namdas said the current security challenges in the country call for specialised training of the army personnel.
“As tasking and important TRADOC is, it was funded directly by the army headquarters until 2021 when the president approved its status to a budget centre and we in the national assembly started appropriating funds for it,” he said.
“It was the main reason we here in the house of representatives particularly, the committee on army, started our oversight functions by visiting TRADOC, first before any other army formation.
“Our visit gave us more confidence that TRADOC is doing exactly what it was established to do. This is because our visit coincided with the ongoing training which we decided to observe and what we saw shows that TRADOC is doing its doctrine and then training officers and men in the Nigeria Army.
“With the current security challenges bedevilling the country, we urge TRADOC to pay attention in training our army officers and men in counter-terrorism and banditry.
“We are worried at the spate of banditry across the country that’s why we feel that attention should be paid to banditry and also terrorism. That was also why the national assembly decided to pass a resolution urging the President of the Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari to designate bandits as terrorists so that the security forces can have more power to deal with the situation.
“As a committee, we will continue to support the army to achieve their goals but we shall insist that funds provided must be judiciously utilised to earn the trust of Nigerians and boost the morale of soldiers and officers in the army.”
Speaking earlier, Olabanji asked the committee to approve N43.3 billion for the command’s 2022 budget against the N26.2 billion budgeted by the ministry of finance.
He said the amount will cover personnel emolument, capital, training, and overhead cost of the command.