Reps decry inadequate budget for defence
By Johnbosco Agbakwuru
CALABAR – CHAIRMAN of House of Representatives Committee on Navy, Hon. Aminu Koko, has decried the budgetary allocation for defence saying that it was inadequate considering the security challenges at hand.
Hon. Koko who frowned at the N10 billion allocated to the Defence ministry in the 2012 budget proposal when he led his committee members on a visit to the Flag Officer Commanding, Eastern Naval Command, Rear Admiral Olufemi Ogunjimi, in Calabar, called for an increase in budgetary allocation to the sector if the fight against insecurity was to succeed.
According to him, “Issues like sea robbery, bunkering, insecurity in the North are giving everybody sleepless night and should be arrested. To do this, enough funds should be made available.
“The Federal Government should look at the budget and in subsequent ones, step up the allocations. We in the House are trying to see how additional funds could be made available to defence.
“The budget for Navy, Army and Air force is too meager. The Executive should collaborate with the House on how we could carve out an entirely workable budget for defence.”
He commended the Navy for protecting the maritime environment stressing that with the limited available to the force, they were doing well in policing the Nigerian maritime boundaries.
“Honestly, Navy is doing well considering its lean resources. What we are emphasizing is that N10 billion allocated to defence is grossly insufficient,” he stressed.
Koko said his committee will look into all the challenges of the Eastern Naval command of Navy to aid it discharge its roles well.
He also expressed dismay over the abandonment of the Navy Hospital in Calabar for almost 30 years and urged the Federal Government to ensure the completion of the long-abandoned project.