By Henry Umoru
ABUJA—THE military, yesterday, gave an insight into why it has been difficult for it to completely fight the dreaded Boko Haram as well as nip in the bud the security challenges facing the country.
Speaking, yesterday, in Abuja when he appeared before the Senate Committee on Army to defend the 2018 budget, Chief of Army Staff, COS, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai, attributed the problem to inadequacy of funds to the military.
He also said insecurity in Nigeria might continue to linger, if the needed resources were not provided.
According to him, if the Army should effectively and efficiently carry out its statutory duties, the Senate should help amend the law that would place the military on first line charge.
Buratai, who noted that it does not augur well for government not to release fund to the military when there are challenges for the Army to tackle.
He said: “The inadequate budgetary allocation envelope budget system and subsisting partial release of the funds had negatively affected the Nigerian Army from achieving almost secured environment for the citizenry
“The Nigerian Army is committed to securing the territory of Nigeria from any violation, such as the clearance operation to rid the country of the remnant of Boko Haram terrorists and other criminal groups. Timely and complete implementation of the budget will enhance the fulfillment of this mandate.
“I pray that N195.5 billion should be approved for Nigerian Army personnel emolument in the 2018 budget, N26.1billion for overhead, while N39.8 billion should be approved for capital. “
In his remarks, Chairman of the committee, Senator George Akume, said the Army had done well within what was released to the establishment.
“If releases were made to the Army, the establishment would do better for the overall development of the country,’’ he said.
Also speaking, Vice Chairman of the committee, Senator Ibrahim Danbaba, said it was sad that funds budgeted for were not released, adding that if the 2017 budget of the Army recorded only 42 percent, it was either “the planners did not do their jobs well or the money was diverted and used for other things not in the budget.