…As Reps warn against delaying projects

By Levinus Nwabughiogu

The Chief of Naval Staff, Rear Admiral Awwal Zubairu Gambo, has said that inadequate platforms, jetties, arms and ammunition were hampering their mandate.

He also listed logistics, support facilities, huge material and personnel cost for maintaining seized and arrested vessels and baggies as well as  shortage of barracks accommodation as factors militating against its operations.

Gambo listed the challenges while defending the 2022 budget of the Nigerian Navy before the House of Representatives Committee on Navy, chaired by Yusuf Gagdi, in Abuja yesterday.

He said: “The  immediate challenges to the Nigerian Navy operational efficiency include inadequate platforms, jetties, arms and ammunition and obsolete logistics support facilities. 

“Others are huge material and personnel cost for maintening seized and arrested vessels and baggies and shortage of barracks accommodation amongst others. Some of the key challenges are briefly highlighted in the brief before you.”

Reviewing the 2021 budget implementation, the Naval Chief said the “capital budget of N25.3 billion was appropriated for year 2021 and has so far been fully released; the release has been used to fund implementation of critical projects.”

Speaking on the 2022 capital proposal, Gambo said that a total of  N220,24 billion was proposed but pruned to N25.8 billion by the Ministry of Budget and National Planning.

“The Nigerian Navy priority projects as outlined in the strategic plan 2021 to 2030 are fleet renewal, concept and organization, capital development, fleet support Infrastructure, operations, logistics as well as personnel welfare.

Earlier in his address, chairman of the House Committee on Navy, Gagdi, noted the poor budgetary allocation to the Navy.

“Owing to what were seen on ground and within the insufficient appropriations made in the exiting year 2021, this committee did observe that there were generally commendable performances of the Navy in the last one year.

“In honesty, the committee observed that the air of relief in terms of the administrative prowess and strategic vision as well as the open door policy brought to bear in the Navy by the Chief of the Naval Staff has engendered effectiveness of officers and ratings in the discharge of their duties.

“However, the committee observed with pessimistic views, the spill over projects (against agreed timelines) by some contractors, including some that spanned beyond three years period without any signs of completion.’’

‘’The Chief of the Naval staff vis the Navy headquarters interventionist projects and projects approved in the last budget and their level of implementation were fair indicators of good performance by the Navy.

READ ALSO: 2022 Budget defence: Reps condemn spillover of navy projects

“However, the Nigerian Navy was obliged to review the estimate down to the N25.8 billion equivalent to about 11 per cent of the Nigerian Navy’s needs which was given by the ministry of finance, budget and national planning as the Nigerian Navy’s budget ceiling.

“The Nigerian Navy year 2022 personnel cost amount to N108,165,092,586. This amount is required for the payment of salaries and particularly, the allowances contained in the manual of financial administration for the armed forces of Nigeria 2017.  Part of the money proposed will also cater for the National Health Insurance Scheme,” he said.

On Internally Generated Revenue Generated, IGR, projections, Gambo said the Navy was expected to raise about N232.93 million..

He said:  “The Nigerian Navy IGR projection for 2022 amounts to N232,934,211.04. The revenue is expected to be sourced from auction of unserviceable equipment, contractors registration and taxes, VAT and stamp duty.

“The major focus of the 2022 budget remains the ongoing fleet renewal, concept and organization, fleet support Infrastructure, operations logistics and capacity upgrade while efforts to improve the welfare of personnel will also be sustained.’’

He highlighted some of its current operations to include maritime, regional and internal security in Nigeria and West Africa.

Vanguard News Nigeria

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