FG Votes N100 billion For Counter-Terrorism Operations In N’East
The Federal Government has voted N100 billion for the 2021 counter-terrorism operations in North East region that claimed many lives and property.
The operations, being executed by Operation Lafiya Dole in Sambisa Forest and Lake Chad region of Borno state, is expected to end by June this year.
Senate Committee Chairman on Army, Sen. Mohammed Ali Ndume disclosed this Thursday in Maiduguri, while lamenting on the ill-equipped Nigerian Army with old and outdated fighting arms and ammunition.
“Our Army was good to go in ending the over decade Boko Haram insurgency,” he said; noting that with the release of N100 billion to the Theatre Command; the war could end by June this year.
According to him, the personnel and the recurrent budgets of the armed forces in this year’s budget has a total of N675 billion.
He said the releases are not only for Operation Lafiya Dole, but to recruit 8,000 soldiers, while training of others are being conducted at Zaria and in Falgore.
Ndume, who represents Borno south senatorial district, however, noted that the N100 billion budgeted for the operation as against last year’s budget of N75 billion was inevitable to end the war.
He said the increased budgetary allocations to the military, followed complaints presented by the leadership of the Armed Forces on ‘inadequate funding and procurement of weapons.’
He said the army has requested that the fund be given to them; so that they can get all the arms and ammunition.
He noted that all they asked for have been approved by the Federal Government in the 2021 budget.
While lamenting over a decade insurgency, he said: “There is the likelihood of terrorism persisting in Nigeria for another,” warning that unless there are appropriate responses from all stakeholders, civilian and the military.
“But the Nigerian Army now have what it takes to end this war by mid this year,” he said.
He said the capital funding of the army will run concurrently with the budget that was signed up to the end of March to enable the military procure all the necessary weapons.
Continuing, he said: “All that is needed to get the soldiers on ground motivated; has also been provided in this year’s budget.
“There are plans to increase the numbers of troops to be recruited.
“The National Assembly has also emphasized to the military that instead of the 6,000 soldiers, or thereabout, they should now recruit 8,000.”
He added that other sister forces which are the Navy and Air forces are also turning out their special force that was sent to other countries for specialized training.
He therefore called on Nigerians to remain steadfast and always complement the military’s effort in the fight against insurgency.