The Campaign team of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Presidential Candidate, Major-General Muhammadu Buhari (retd), yesterday, tackled President Goodluck Jonathan on his comments during his presidential campaign flag-off in Lagos that Buhari did not equip the military when he was head of state.
Citing a comparative study of the amount spent by various governments on military hardware as part of total defence budget, the Buhari team in a statement by Mr. Dele Alake (Director, Strategic Communications, Buhari Campaign Organisation), said the Buhari administration spent more than the Yar’Adua/Jonathan administration in real terms.
Published in the Journal of African Macroeconomic Review, Volume 2 Number 1, the study, entitled: “ Comparative Regime Analysis of the Trend and Structure of Military Expenditure in Nigeria, 1980-2010,” revealed that while the Buhari/Idiagbon spent 38.68 per cent of total allocation to the military on capital items such as military hardware between January 1984 and August 1985 when it was overthrown, the Yar’Adua/Jonathan administration spent 34.67 per cent of military budget between May 2007 and May 2010.
Authored by Anyanwu Sarah, Egwaikhide Chris and Aiyedogbon John Olu Coris, the study observed as follows: “Buhari/Idiagbon in 1984 also allocated 38.68 per cent and 61.32 per cent for capital milex and recurrent respectively. They spent approximately 16 months. The Ibrahim Babangida regime (1985-1993) spent 19.58 per cent on capital milex and 80.42 per cent on recurrent milex. Abacha/Shonekan/Abdulsalam (1993-1999) regime expended 24.10 per cent on capital milex and 75.9 per cent on recurrent milex.
The civilian administration of Olusegun Obasanjo (1999-2007) for a period of eight years, spent 17.44 per cent of her total milex on capital milex and 82.56 per cent on recurrent milex. Yar’adua/Jonathan (2008-2010) had so far spent 34.67 per cent on capital milex and 65.33 per cent on recurrent.”
Milex refers to military expenditure.
Other studies show that since Jonathan took over the reins of leadership, the capital budget for military hardware has been decreasing while recurrent has been increasing.
For instance, analysing the 2012 defence spending as proposed by the Jonathan administration, APC Governorship Candidate for Kaduna State, Mallam Nassir el-Rufai observed: “When one carefully peruses the capital budgets of the DHQ and Army, most of the capital spending is going towards buildings, some ammunition and vehicle spares.
This year, we are not buying any equipment for the armoured, artillery and other mechanisation needs of the Army – at least not anywhere in the budget.
“The Navy and Air Force are slightly better. The Navy is buying two (yes only two) offshore patrol vessels and six coastal patrol boats and some spares. The Air Force intends to acquire 12 Augusta 109 helicopters, some uniforms, the reactivation of C-130, G222, Alpha Jets and maintenance, and some buildings. No new fighter jets this year!”
The situation was worse in the recently signed Budget 2014 which allocated 90 per cent of military expenditure to salaries and other recurrent needs while a meagre 10 per cent went to military hardware.