An analysis of the 2021 Budget of the Nigerian Army, led by General Buratai showed that in four years, it budgeted ₦9.1bn for kitting its personnel.
Starting with ₦1.7bn in 2018, the appropriation peaked to over ₦3bn in 2020, only declining for 2021.
“For a better perspective, the ₦1.71bn allocation for kitting in 2018 was for about 215,000 personnel recorded in 2017, the figure marked by a growth of 7.5% in the previous year.” A Dataphyte report shows.
Meanwhile, annual growth in personnel averaged at 7.74% in four years’ analysis.
Nevertheless, despite the current revenue setback and budgeting with increasing deficit, the Nigerian Army budgeted ₦2.9 billion for kitting in 2021. In fact, in four years, the Agency budgeted ₦9.1bn for this purpose.
“Typically, a budget provides the framework for proposed expenditure. Governments and institutions prepare these using existing realities to cater for future needs.”
“However, the budget process in Nigeria is a springboard for corruption. This is clear in the continuous replication of irrelevant conditions annually. Today it is the Nigerian Army and a ₦1.71bn sum for kitting.”
Interestingly, the 2020 allocation for kitting featured an increase of over 200% from the previous year, despite economic woes that trailed the year, the Dataphyte report shows.
Chief of which is a drop in fuel price championed by the pandemic. However, the ₦3.42bn allocation was slightly slashed to ₦2.9bn for 2021.
While the Army’s emphasis on kitting being excessive may be debatable, its minimisation of other essential areas is not, a primary example being research and development. “And just like the allocation to kitting increased over the years, love for R&D dwindled over the years. But with the dynamism of insecurity, the need for research and development cannot be under-estimated.”
“Again, the Nigerian Army’s budget estimates show a trivialisation towards combat readiness. Amount stipulated for operational arms and ammunition makes up 0.99% of the total budget and 0.25% earmarked for training arms. Capital expenditure composition comprises 5.5% of which over 70% is for construction and rehabilitation of offices, residential quarters and schools.”
“Another essential aspect that can also be looked into is the area of compensational benefit for Army Personnel. There is no tentative plan for their personnel in the event of them being injured severely in active service. Also vital would be remuneration for family members of personnel who died in active duty.”
“The preceding is the least bit exhaustive but would prove far more beneficial as against just clothing. Research and Development are crucial to the success of security; and life, well, life is every bit more critical.” The Dataphyte report reads.