The Director-General, Defence Research and Development Bureau, AVM Ubrufih Uzezi, on Tuesday, appealed to the National Assembly to increase its annual budgetary allocation for research and development.
Uzezi made the appeal when the Senate Committee on Defence, led by its Chairman, Sen. Aliyu Wamakko visited the bureau in Abuja, for oversight.
Providing a breakdown of the bureau’s budget performance for 2019 and 2021, Uzezi lamented the paucity of funds for research and called for more funds to be allocated to the bureau.
He said that an upward review of the funds for research would enable the military to effectively prosecute the war against insurgency in the North-East, as well as tackle other security challenges in other parts of the country.
“The money appropriated has been well spent and for the things we are doing, a lot has to do with funding to solve a lot of problems that our troops are facing in the North-East, North-West and North-Central; the issue of insurgency, banditry.
“For the 2019-2020 budget you will see that very paltry sum was given to research and development. Research and development cost a lot of money,” Uzezi said.
The director-general further said that Nigeria was experiencing a lot of insecurity, especially in the North-East, which required the military to prosecute with superior firepower; pointing out that the military research centre was expected to be the driving force.
“Our country is going through very challenging times and the armed forces is at the fore of resolving the challenges that we are facing.
“And for any armed forces to function effectively, they need equipment, they need capabilities that are technology-dependent.
“I believe that those who initiated the idea of a bureau like this to be established, foresaw and indeed there is no country that can attain self reliance in technology without research and development”.
In his opening remarks, Chairman of the committee, Aliyu Wamakko said the visit was aimed at carrying out a first-hand assessment of the military facility with a view to understanding its challenges.
“We are here as part of our mandate to have an assessment of the constraints. We want to also hear about your 2019 and 2021 capital budget. We are concerned about the security situation, what is being done and what the constraints are. We are here to have a first hand assessment”, he said.