Nigerian Army ‘grossly’ underfunded by govt – Sen. Ndume
The Chairman, Senate Committee on Army, Ali Ndume has lamented the poor funding of the Nigerian Army by the Federal Government of Nigeria.
The lawmaker who expressed his concern on Wednesday while addressing newsmen shortly after the budget defence by the Nigerian Army in the National Assembly, said that the Nigerian Army was being “grossly” underfunded by the Nigerian government.
Ndume (representing Borno South), who made the comments after an oversight tour on some Army establishments across the country with his Committee on Army also added that bandits are more equipped than the Army.
He said; “The difference between Nigerian Army and the bandits is that, they (Army) are trained and also wear uniforms.
“Some of the bandits operate with AK49, the latest AKs, while the Army is still using AK47”.
Ndume said even the bandits have devised means of getting the Army uniforms so they could disguise themselves as Nigeria’s military personnel.
The lawmaker lamented that monies meant for procuring arms and ammunitions are not regularly released.
On the 2020 budget performance, he said, “The money that was supposed to be given to them to buy equipment, buy arms and ammunitions, procure certain kits for them, only 64% of that money was released”.
“In fact, on top of that, it was 50% that was released in July. The second batch of it was released this week.
“Nigeria is at war, the whole of Nigeria Army budget is about $1.3m. That’s at the level of Niger, Chad, Sudan and other poor countries”, Ndume noted.
He said, even the little budget being proposed by the executive, there was “no guarantee that this money will be released 100%” to the Army.