A report from the Budget Office of the Federation has revealed that the Military Chiefs got N238bn to fight insecurity as well as implement programmes and operations for the Army, Navy and Air force between 2018 and 2019.
According to information from the Budget Office website, the Defence ministry, the Defence headquarters and the three arms of the military budgeted N316bn for operations during the period. The Federal Government however released only N238bn during the period.
The 2018 budget implementation report stated that out of N157bn appropriated by the Federal Government for capital projects and operations of the military for the year, it only released N132bn. In 2019, only N106.84bn out of a total of N159bn was released.
These amounts are however different from the $1bn allocated to the military to fight Boko Haram in 2017. While reports on the disbursement of the funds are yet to be verified, reports from military sources say parts of the funds were used to pay for several Tucano fighter jets still being expected from the United States.
Excerpts from the 2018 budget implementation report which did not include that of the Army read;
“The mandate of the defence ministry is to provide administrative and support services, timely and effectively to enable the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to maintain the territorial integrity of the country.
In order to prepare the Nigeria Armed Forces for combat on Land, Sea and Air, the government allocated a total of N157.72bn in the 2018 Budget to implement its capital projects and programmes.
“Out of this amount, N132.77 bn was released and cash-backed while N126.17bn was utilised as at the end of the fourth quarter of the year. For the navy, the sum of N27.45bn was allocated in the 2018 budget to implement its capital projects and programmes. Out of this amount, N23.78bn was released, cash-backed and utilised as at the end of the fiscal year.
“The Nigeria Air Force is charged with the responsibility of providing air defence to the nation and ensuring the integrity of the airspace by gaining and maintaining control of the nation’s airspace. To achieve this objective, a total of N44.65bn was allocated to this arm of the military to implement its capital projects and programmes. Out of this amount, N27.83bn was released, cash backed and utilised in the 2018 fiscal year.”
The 2019 military budget implementation report also read;
“Under the 2019 budget, the defence sector was allocated a total of N159.13bn in the 2019 budget for the implementation of its capital projects and programmes.
Out of this amount, N106.84bn was released and cash-backed, while N103.11bn was utilised as at December 31, 2019. The following agencies and projects were monitored; one of them is the Defence Corporation of Nigeria which is operated by the Nigerian Armed forces. The DICON is responsible for the production of defence equipment and civilian products such as artillery, explosives, munitions, small arms, Armoured vehicles, etc.
“To achieve this mandate, a total of N3.23bn was allocated in the 2019 appropriation to implement its capital projects and programmes. Out of this amount, N1.29bn was released, cash-backed and utilised.”
During the same period, attacks by Boko Haram insurgents, armed bandits and rogue Fulani herdsmen increased exponentially. Thousands of Nigerians were displaced, while hundreds were also killed.
While officials sources list only 71 soldiers of the Nigerian Army as being killed in action between January and July, 2020 alone, unofficial estimates puts this figure at several hundreds, including scores captured by Boko Haram/ISWAP elements