- Defends N152.8bn budget
Damilola Oyedele in Abuja
Officers and men of the Nigerian Army are currently engaged in 32 states of the federation, battling terrorism, kidnapping, cattle rustling, pipeline vandalism, communal clashes, and other forms of insecurity.
The development has stretched the military, informing the need for the planned recruitment of 12,000, with the passage of the 2017 budget.
The Chief of Army Staff, Lt-Gen. Tukur Buratai, disclosed this when he appeared before the House Committee on Army yesterday to defend the N152.8 billion budget proposal of the outfit.
He reiterated the commitment of the army to enhancing internal security and protecting the territorial integrity of the country.
“Currently, the Nigeria Army is deployed in about 32 states fighting to eradicate terrorism, cattle rustling, kidnapping, pipeline vandalism, armed banditry and communal clashes among others. The challenges have in many instances necessitated the deployment of Quick Response Groups to troubled areas and establishment of new units in some cases,” he said.
Buratai however, noted that the operations of the military are hampered by the non-timely and incomplete release of funds.
He noted that the morale of troops are affected when their welfare are not adequately taken care of.
Hon. Lynda Ikpeazu (Anambra PDP) urged the army to make the provision of befitting living quarters, a priority.
“Many of our troops live in conditions that are unfit for human occupation…but I do not see that captured in the 2017 budget,” she said.
The Chairman of the Committee, Hon. Rima Shawulu cut short the public defence, and announced that a technical committee including the Senate Committee on Army, to discuss the technical details of the military budget.