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Nigeria needs $2bn annually to fund military – DHQ

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The Defence Headquarters said on Monday the country needs about $2 billion (N826 billion) annually to fund its military to effectively combat the spate of insecurity in the country.

The Director of Production in the DHQ, Air Vice Marshall M.A. Yakubu, who stated this at a public hearing on a bill to establish the Armed Forces Special Trust Fund organised by the House of Representatives Committee on Defence, added that even the sources of funding specified in the Bill would be inadequate to tackle the insecurity problems in the country.

The Bill seeks alternative sources of funding for the Armed Forces to improve its software, hardware and training.

The Support Trust Fund is expected to draw funds from one percent of the total money accruing to the Federation Account; 0.5 percent of the profit made from the investment of the National Sovereign Wealth Fund (NSWF) by the Nigerian Sovereign Investment, one percent of Value Added Tax (VAT) remitted to the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF), and any take-off grant and special intervention fund as may be provided by the Federal Government, states and local governments in the country.

The statement followed the intelligence that some members of the Armed Forces currently engaged in the fight against the insurgency and other criminal acts in the country were lobbying to be redeployed from their areas of assignment over poor welfare.

According to Yakubu, the projection for funding in the Bill was estimated at about N100 billion per year.

He, however, noted that the fund would still be inadequate to prosecute the fight against the criminals.

The director said: “I have been a defence attaché in the United States of America from 2014 to 2017. I have been a Director of Procurement at the headquarters of the Nigerian Air Force for another two years.

“I have been chief of logistics also at the Headquarters Nigerian Air Force for another two years. So I am fully conversant with what it takes to run the affairs of a fighting NAF.

“I also understand the limitations we have in Nigeria and what it should have been. I want you to understand how large is this problem we are trying to address before I make my point.

In his remarks, the Director-General, Defence Research and Development Bureau, Air Vice Marshall U. P. Uzezi, urged the Federal Government to take research and development more seriously to enable the local production of the required military hardware.

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