The Nigerian Army Wednesday complained bitterly over reduction of its budget size from N710 billion it proposed to N579 billion approved by the Ministry of Finance and Budget Office for the 2022 fiscal year.
The Army, through its Chief of Staff, Lt – General Farouk Yahaya declared the development would impede its operational efficiency.
The Chief of Army Staff, who made this known to the Senate Committee on Army during budget defence session, pointedly requested the committee to facilitate the exclusion of the Army and other military outfits from envelope budgeting system.
He said: “In preparing for Year 2022 Budget, the Nigerian Army (NA) proposed about the sum of Seven Hundred and Ten Billion Naira (N710b) only.
“However, the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning budget ceiling reduced it to a total sum of Five Hundred and Seventy Nine Billion Naira (N579b) only.
“This reduction would impede the capacity and tempo of the Nigerian Army in carrying out its constitutional duties particularly the ongoing war against Boko Haram Terrorists and other criminalities across the country.
“The detail of this request is contained in the Nigerian Army Year 2022 Budget Defence booklet earlier submitted to this Distinguished Committee.
“I therefore passionately appeal to this Committee to impress it on the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning to begin the release of Year 2022 Nigerian Army Capital Budget in the First Quarter 2022.
“This would help the Nigerian Army to rehabilitate dilapidated accommodations in over 138 barracks and training facilities across NA units/formations as well as procure the needed equipment and platforms to prosecute the war against terrorism and other criminalities across the country”.
In specific terms , the Army boss said the sum of N642.7billion only should be approved for Nigerian Army Personnel Emolument for Year 2022 Budget, N29.6 billion be approved for overhead , N37.6billion for 2022 capital projects .
Lamenting further, the Army boss said: “The National Assembly should cause the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning to begin the release of Year 2022 Nigerian Army Capital Budget in the First Quarter of the fiscal year.
“The National Assembly should prevail on the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning to exempt the Nigerian Army from the current budget ceiling or envelope allocation system”.
Buttressing the submissions of the Army chief, chairman of the Committee, Senator Mohammed Ali Ndume (APC Borno South) said it is wrong to put the security agencies in envelope budgeting.
“As a committee, the budgetary allocations proposed for the Nigerian Army in 2022 is grossly inadequate, the very
reason envelope budgeting should not be used for the military at this time of serious security challenges in the country.
“We shall push for their exclusion from the system and inclusion in the first line charge,” he said.