By Henry Umoru
ABUJA – THE Commandant of the Nigeria Defence Academy ( NDA), Major -General Adeniyi Oyebade, yesterday told the Senate that the military training school was suffering shortfalls of well over N1.3billion in budgetary releases by the Ministry of Finance.
According to him the shortfalls had made it almost impossible for the Military Institution to pay non regular allowances to its personnel, just as he said that the allowances affected by the N1.3billion shortfall in 2018 budget releases, are hazard, responsible and excess workload allowances .
Oyebade who disclosed this yesterday when he appeared before the Senate Committee on Defence while making presentation on performance of 2018 budget allocations to the Academy and proposals for the 2019 fiscal years, said, “Aside the N1.3billion shortfall, out of the N8.9billion capital votes appropriated for the Academy in the 2018 fiscal year, , only N4.1billion has been released so far , making the implementation performance within the capital component to be 47% as at this month.”
The Commandant who noted that N9.0billion capital expenditure budget proposal made by the Academy for 2019 fiscal year was reduced to N8billion by the Ministry of Budget and National Planning, said that some of the capital projects to be carried out by the Academy in the 2019 capital expenditure component of the proposed budget , are Counter terrorisn and Counter Insurgency Village , NDA Sports Complex, Earth Dam etc .
However members of the committee chaired by Senator Abubakar Kyari ( APC Borno North ) , observed that while personnel cost component of the Academy budgetary allocations for 2018 was N8.146billion , the proposed estimates for 2019 is N8.072billion , wondering whether the Academy suffered depletion in staff strength
Oyebade in his response said that the N8.072billion personnel cost component of the 2019 budget proposal made by the Academy was in line with the envelope given to us to that effect by the Ministry of Budget and National Planning, adding, “No any drastic depletion in the staff strength of the Academy , it remains well over 2,000 in addition to the 2,000 cadet officers that have to be well kitted ,and trained aside logistics and administration costs . We definitely need improved funding for overhead costs to keep the Academy in very good shape .”