COALITION of Rights Group
under the aegis of Global Peace and
Life Rescue Initiative, GOPRI, has
called on the federal government
to continue to place high premium
on the development of a strong and
efficient armed forces including
sustaining efforts at equipment
modernisation and lifting the morale
and welfare of officers and soldiers.
Executive Director, GOPRI, Amb.
Melvin Ejeh, made this known
in a statement made available to
newsmen in Jos, yesterday
“Recently, President Muhammadu
Buhari delivered the 2018 budget
proposal to the National Assembly
tagged ‘Budget of Consolidation’.
Buhari said the N8.6 trillion
budget would consolidate on the
achievements of previous budgets
and deliver on Nigeria’s Economic
Recovery and Growth Plan, ERGP,
2018–2020.”
“A breakdown of allocation in the
budget shows that defence came
fourth with N145 billion. This was
just a bit higher than its capital allocation
of N140 billion in the 2017 budget.
“GOPRI believes that in the face of
serious security challenges plaguing
the country occasioned by the low
allocation and the poor release of fund
to the sector this year, its allocated
budget for 2018 is grossly insufficient
in ensuring the survival of the nation’s
democracy and rescuing it from
the seemingly intractable spate of
terrorism, kidnapping and other forms
of criminality.
“Our defence arm requires more
funds than any sector of the country
if it is to effectively tackle security
challenges. The budgetary allocation
is inadequate and must be improved
upon to help the armed forces meet
contemporary realities of the country.
“The sustenance of various military
operations requires higher capabilities
to maintain the required level and
duration of operations to achieve
planned results. However, doing that
requires more resources, training and
mission readiness which requires
adequate and prompt funding.
“The body therefore appealed to
the National Assembly, according to
Sections 59 and 81(1) of the constitution,
to as a matter of national interest,
urgently consult with the presidency
and increase the defence budget
estimate of 2018 to reflect the true
resources needed in the fight against
security threats and insurgency.
“Asides inadequate resources,
GOPRI is also calling on the National
Assembly to look into the poor release
of funds to the defence ministry.
“Poor funds release to a sensitive
sector like defence poses a serious
risk to national security as too many
things can go wrong when critical
procurements like service parts for
aircrafts, modern fighting equipment,
troops emoluments, training and retraining
and other consumables are not
procured or maintenance contractual
obligations are defaulted upon.
“Aside the risk that such poses to the
military, there is the possibility of Boko
Haram bouncing back if something
is not urgently done to reverse the
situation.’’

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