Nigerian Army is currently on its knees begging the Buhari administration to remove it from the annual envelope budgeting being adopted by the Federal Ministry of Budget and Economic Planning. Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Farouk Yahaya, made the appeal when he appeared before the Senate Committee on Army to defend the 2022 budget.
According to him, the sum of N579 billion approved for the Army for the 2022 fiscal year was not enough to fight terrorism and banditry in the country. “In preparing for year 2022 budget, the Nigerian Army proposed about the sum of N710 billion.
“However, the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning budget ceiling reduced it to N579 billion. This reduction would impede the capacity and tempo of the Army in carrying out its constitutional duties particularly the ongoing war against Boko Haram terrorists and other criminalties across the country.
“The National Assembly should prevail on the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning to exempt the Nigerian Army from the current budget ceiling or envelope allocation system. I therefore passionately appeal to this (Senate) committee to impress it on the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning to begin the release of year 2022 Nigerian Army capital budget from the First Quarter 2022.
“This would help the Nigerian Army to rehabilitate dilapidated accommodations in over 138 barracks and training facilities across our units, and formations as well as procure the needed equipment and platforms to prosecute the war against terrorism and other criminalities across the country”, he said, and enjoined the Senate panel to approve the sum of N642.7billion as the Army personnel emolument for the 2022 budget.
The Army chief also requested the approval of N29.6billion as overhead cost and N37.6billion as capital expenditure, adding, “the timely and complete implementation of the 2022 budget will thus enhance the fulfilment of the Army’s constitutional mandate and thus engender peace for socioeconomic development of our country Nigeria.”
While the military does not seem to get enough funds to fight, the inflow of funds to the axis of wahala in the North is not encouraging the benefiting parties to wish the menace to end so soon. Beyond the surface appearances, the Boko Haram conflict is quite a complex one.
Take for instance, Head of European Union (EU) delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Ambassador Samuela Isopi, says their intervention programmes have restored hope to millions of people displaced by the Boko Haram in Borno State and the North East.
She said the EU has committed about €130 million in the last four years to the efforts of the Borno State government to rebuild and rehabilitate affected communities.This funding support alone, according to her, has contributed to the restoration of basic services and livelihoods which cut across health and nutrition, agriculture and livelihood, water and sanitation, social protection, education, conflict mitigation and cohesion among displaced populations and their host communities.
The EU official spoke during the premiere of HOPE, a documentary film on the struggles of the displaced people in the state, held at the Musa Yar’Adua Centre, Abuja, pointing out that through funding support in the last four years to conflict-affected areas in Borno, the EU has contributed to the restoration of peace and hope to millions of people in the state.
In addition, she said, EU has, since 2014, provided over €345 million in humanitarian assistance, including the €56 million funding allocated in 2021, in an effort to help meet the basic needs of the conflict-affected people by supporting emergency food aid, shelter, access to clean water, hygiene and sanitation, basic primary healthcare, protection and education.
“We are happy to see that the support has brought hope back to Borno State as millions of people are now returning to their communities”, she added.
According to the envoy, the documentary is aimed at creating awareness amongst the European and Nigerian populations on the impact of the conflict and humanitarian crisis affecting the people of Borno State, North-East of Nigeria. In addition, the film highlights the role of the EU, its contribution to humanitarian and recovery assistance to the conflict-affected population, in its partnership with Nigeria.