Owing to the changing nature of contemporary warfare and the need to keep members of the armed forces effectively equipped and highly motivated to overcome the challenges, the Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Gabriel Olonisakin has called on the National Assembly to consider approving the sourcing of alternative funding for the armed forces.
Addressing the Chairman and members of the Senate Committee on Defence who paid an oversight visit on capital and intervention releases for 2017 and 2018, to DHQ, Olonisakin said, “In other to carry out its constitutional roles effectively, the armed forces of Nigeria requires requisite platforms which needs to be regularly upgraded to meet the ever changing threats to our nation
“The financial investments required to effectively equip the armed forces and provide adequate welfare as motivating factor for personnel are high.
“Obviously, budgetary provisions alone cannot adequately fund the requirements of the armed forces. Thus alternative funding options needs to be given serious consideration.
General Olonisakin also told the Senators that “The DHQ recently established a committee to consider alternative funding options for the armed forces of Nigeria” adding “The report of the committee has been shared with the national assembly and could form a basis for further consideration of the proposal for the armed forces to have alternative funding options in addition to budgetary provisions”.
Consequently, he said, “I would like to seek the indulgence of Distinguished Senators and indeed the entire national assembly to kindly consider providing for alternative funding for the armed forces.
“This will greatly assist in building an armed forces that will be able to meet up with changing nature of contemporary warfare and ensure more effective performance of its constitutional roles”.
While appreciating President Muhammadu Buhari for his unwavering commitment to ensuring that the armed forces is provided the wherewithal to execute ‘Our Constitutional’ responsibilities despite other competing demands for national resources, acknowledge the committees assistance in ensuring that what is due the armed forces are released without delay.
While noting that the timely releases of funding due the military have greatly motivated troops, the CDS said, “As a result, we are more committed and resolute to carry out our assigned mandates”.
On the 2017/2017 interventions, the CDS said, “It is vital to note that the DHQ successfully implemented the 2017 budget in line with the policy thrust of due process, accountability and transparency.
“This was achieved with available funds and significant success was achieved for the capital budget. We have followed due process in implementing these projects, some of which were completed in the year 2017”.
“For the year 2018, we have been able to achieve a lot in line with the releases made so far.
In his address, Chairman Senate Committee on Defence, Senator Abubakar Kyari said, “The committees objective of the oversight is access the economic performance of the Defence headquarters in the usage of the economic resources deployed to it within the period under review (year 2018 budget) for achieving specific goals of projects implementation, performance and outcomes of specific, measurable, achievable, realistic time bound objectives, among others.
“There is no doubt that the DHQ plays a Germaine role in the coordination of the armed forces which has effectively sustained troops in various theatres of operation spread across the country and the sub-region towards guaranteeing a secured Nigerian nation and successful peace support operations”, he said.
Senator Kyari added, “This is clearly evident in the great feat achieved in the ongoing North East operations and the containment of other security threats across Nigeria.
“The committee recommends that the tempo of security operations be sustained. It is therefore imperative that more budgetary and extra-budgetary allocations be approved in respect of the enormous material and capital projects requirement for sustenance of troops in theatres of operations”.
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