By Joseph Erunke
ABUJA—THE Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Tukur Buratai, yesterday, accused formations and units of the service of not rendering proper record of arms in their possession.
He made this known in a speech at the Nigerian Army Headquarters while inaugurating a 17-member panel to verify the number of arms in the various army formations and units across the country.
While noting that the army “has an existing procedure for checks and balances in which formations and units render computerised arms returns for accounting purposes”, he, however, lamented that “these laid-down procedures have over time been jettisoned or compromised for various reasons.
”The arms verification exercises across all Nigerian Army, NA, formations remain highly valuable to the Nigerian Army, hence it is carried out annually or as at when necessary.
“The Nigerian Army has an existing procedure for checks and balances in which formations and units render computerised arms returns for accounting purposes. These laid down procedures have over time been jettisoned or compromised for various reasons.
”The NA has procured different types of arms for the conduct of training and operations. However, we have discovered that some of these weapons were delivered straight to various theatres of operation without following the proper process of documentation and accounting.
“This has sometimes resulted in double accounting by many formations especially those involved in counter-insurgency and other military operations in aid of civil authority. There is therefore the need to have accurate records of the holding in various depots and arms stores across the Nigerian Army.
”It is to this end that your committees were convened to go round all the units and formations in the NA to verify their arms holdings.”
He said the committee’s report would complement existing accounting procedures with a view to enhancing efficient planning support for ongoing Nigerian Army operations, telling members who are all retired Army offers that :”As committee members, you have all been carefully selected based on your proven record of integrity and meticulousness.”