Emerging report reaching dailyexcessive news on Sunday, reveals that the Ministry of Defence, together with the Defence Headquarters, Army, Navy, and Air Force, received a whopping N238 billion plus, in 2018 and 2019, to fight insecurity, and implement their programmes and operations.
This is according to reports from the Budget Office of the Federation.
The reports from the website of the Budget Office, stated however, that the Ministry of Defence, the Defence Headquarters, and the three arms of the Military, budgeted over N316 billion for their operations and programmes, in the two years.
The Federal Government, however, released about N238 billion, which represents about 75 percent of the appropriation initially demanded.
Within the same period, the spate of the Boko Haram insurgency, banditry, and violence in the country, has gone up, and at least 71 Soldiers have been killed by terrorists and bandits, between January and July, 2020, according to reports.
This casualty figure is summed from the official Armed Forces releases, while Military sources believe that the casualty figure would be in hundreds.
According to the 2018 Budget Implementation Report, the Federal Government appropriated N157 billion for capital projects and operations to the Military, and released N132 billion.
Meanwhile, for the 2019 report, the government allocated a total of N159 billion for the Military’s capital projects and programmes; it later released N106.84 billion.
These sums are different from the $1 billion, which the Federal Government approved from the Excess Crude Account, ECA, to fight the Boko Haram insurgency in the North-East, in December 2017.
The approval had been given at the 83rd National Economic Council, NEC, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, after a meeting that was also attended by the Nigeria Governors Forum, NGF.
The 2018 Budget Implementation Report said: “The mandate of the Defence Ministry is to provide administrative and support services, timely and effectively to enable the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, to maintain the territorial integrity of the country.
“In order to prepare the Nigeria Armed Forces for combat on Land, Sea, and Air, the government allocated a total of N157.72 billion in the 2018 Budget, to implement its capital projects and programmes.
“Out of this amount, N132.77 billion was released and cash-backed, while N126.17 billion was utilised as at the end of the fourth quarter of the year. For the Navy, the sum of N27.45 billion was allocated in the 2018 budget, to implement its capital projects and programmes. Out of this amount, N23.78 billion was released, cash-backed, and utilised as at the end of the fiscal year.
“The Nigeria Air Force is charged with the responsibility of providing air defence to the nation, and ensuring the integrity of the airspace, by gaining and maintaining control of the nation’s airspace. To achieve this objective, a total of N44.65 billion was allocated to this arm of the Military, to implement its capital projects and programmes. Out of this amount, N27.83 billion was released, cash backed, and utilised in the 2018 fiscal year.”
The report did not however, highlight the Nigerian Army.
Meanwhile, the 2019 Budget Implementation Report reads: “Under the 2019 budget, the Defence sector was allocated a total of N159.13 billion in the 2019 budget, for the implementation of its capital projects and programmes.
“Out of this amount, N106.84 billion was released and cash-backed, while N103.11 billion was utilised, as at December 31, 2019. The following Agencies and projects were monitored; one of them is the Defence Corporation of Nigeria, which is operated by the Nigerian Armed Forces. The DICON is responsible for the production of Defence equipment and civilian products such as artillery, explosives, munitions, small arms, Armoured vehicles, etc.
“To achieve this mandate, a total of N3.23 billion was allocated in the 2019 appropriation, to implement its capital projects and programmes. Out of this amount, N1.29 billion was released, cash-backed, and utilised.”