The Chief of the Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Awwal Zubairu Gambo on Monday appeared before House of Representatives Committee on Navy chaired by Hon. Yusuf Gagdi and disclosed that the operations of the Nigerian Navy are being hampered by inadequate jetties, arms and ammunition and barracks deficit among others.
Admiral Gambo who made this known while defending the 2022 budget also pointed at such other issues impeding the Navy’s performance to include obsolete logistics, huge material and personnel cost for maintaining seized and arrested vessels and baggies.
His words, “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 maintaining 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.”
On the 2021 budget performance, the CNS said the capital budget of N25.3 billion was appropriated for year 2021 and has so far been fully released noting the funds released have been used to fund implementation of critical projects.
Throwing light on the 2022 budget proposal, Admiral Gambo said, “A total of N220,236, 832, 129.64 was proposed but was slashed 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.
“Thus, for year 2022, the Nigerian Navy initial capital expenditure budgetary estimates amounted to N220, 236, 832,129. 64. However, the Nigerian Navy was obliged to review the estimate down to the N25.8billion 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”.
Continuing, the CNS the Navy is expected to raise a projection of N232, 934 million as Internally Generated Revenue Generated (IGR) for 2022 pointing out, “The revenue is expected to be sourced from auction of unserviceable equipment, contractor’s 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 added.
In his remarks, the Chairman of the Committee, Hon Gagdi while commending the performance the Navy despite poor budgetary allocation, warned the institution against tolerating contractors that delay execution of projects.
Hon Gagdi said: “The Committee observed with pessimistic views, the spilt over projects (against agreed timelines) by some contractors including some that spanned beyond 3 years period without any signs of completion, hand over to the Navy or concrete Work-In-Progress.
“Henceforth, the House of Representatives and the National Assembly will not hesitate to call to order any MDA and in this case the Nigerian Navy where it fails to checkmate any erring contractor whose stock in trade is to waste tax payers monies by taking for granted the delivery of public goods and services within specified time-frame and quality of job” he warned