Mohammed Ali Ndume, the chairman of the Senate Committee on Army said The Federal Government has reserved N675 billion for procurement of arms and equipment as well as training of 8,000 soldiers to end Boko Haram insurgency and banditry in the northern part of the country.
He disclosed this in Maiduguri, Borno State this weekend, while lamenting on the lack of adequate arms and equipment for Nigerian Army to fight insurgents.
“Even today (Sunday), we hear of attacks here and there. I believe that with more commitment, which is now coming from President Muhammadu Buhari’s New Year broadcast, the security situation will improve tremendously by mid-2021.” he said.
While breaking down the N675 billion military budget, he said N500 billion is for procurement of arms and ammunition as well as fighting equipment. Operation Lafiya Dole in the Northeast is to get N75 billion for counter-insurgency operations in Sambisa Forest and Lake Chad region. The sum of N100 billion is for the ongoing training of 8,000 soldiers in Zaria and Falgore Forest to match with modern warfare against the insurgency.”
According to Ndume, the troops and other special forces on ground don’t have what it takes to execute the war against the terrorists. He noted that training and resilience were the reason Nigerian troops performed gallantly in Liberia and Sierra Leone.
He also said: “The United Nations has been providing the troops with everything, including arms, ammunition and helicopters. Most of the arms and ammunition used by the troops are too old and outdated to match Boko Haram’s weapons.”
Claiming that it is only the Buhari administration that has implemented the budget up to 70 per cent since the inception of democratic governance, he said the last budget was implemented by 90 per cent.
He concluded thus: “But, as the President said, it is not enough and there are no excuses from the President. We should speak against the problems of insecurity, recession and corruption. The problem is the disconnect between the people that are supposed to work for the President and get these programmes done.”