- The federal government has urged the Nigerian military to develop alternative sources of funding to address its mounting annual budget
- The government's position was made known by the Accountant General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris
- According to him, security financing continues to attract unrivaled attention from the government due to numerous security challenges in the country
The federal government has urged the Nigerian military to develop alternative sources of funding to address its mounting annual budget.
The government's position was made known by the Accountant General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris at the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) finance training workshop held on Wednesday, February 6, with the theme “Strengthening the NAF Finance Specialty for Efficient Service Delivery in Support of NAF Operations,” at the NAF Headquarters, Abuja.
Malam Idris who was represented by Alhaji Mohammed K Usman said the NAF and the military in general should think 'out of the box' to be proactive in prudently managing available resources, and also in developing alternative sources in funding their activities.
He suggested that the military should look into Internally Generated Revenue, donor support, government financing among others.
He also suggested a broad based 'Security Trust Fund' to mobilise funds from the private sector and other good spirited Nigerians to assist the military funding.
He said Nigeria’s budgets over the years have remained a challenge in tackling various commitments of government, stressing that five major countries of the world that topped security and military spending have continued to increase their budgets for security and military because of increasing security challenges.
His words: “It is a known fact that in recent years, our nation is faced with obvious security challenges that, if not because of the tenacity of the government, the situation would have been so unnerving and overwhelming especially if one weigh in paucity of funds and our other politico-economic challenges.
“If the situation is juxtaposed against other contending sectors yearning for attention in terms of provision of social services and infrastructure, then the monster in the challenge of security funding cannot be more unveiled. The nation must therefore deeply think and come up with appropriate funding template that would provide stability towards the delicate balancing of national priorities.
“Our national appropriation had been majorly deficit- budgeted for so many years now. This simply means that the revenue projections were lower than the projected expenditure; therefore government had to depend on borrowings in order to, substantially part-finance the annual appropriation over the years.”
Speaking earlier, the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, represented by the Chief of Policy and Plans, Air Vice Marshal M A Mohammed said the NAF has been able to deploy its platforms in support of military operations through prudent management of resources.
According to Air Marshal Abubakar, the NAF was not only striving to improve on the present status, but has complied with measures put in place by the present administration of President Muhammadu Buhari to ensure transparency and accountability in governance.
His words: “In line with the anti-corruption drive of Mr. President, Commander-in-Chief, the Nigerian Air Force has complied with measures put in place by the federal government to aid transparency in government’s financial transactions such as the Treasury Single Account, government integrated financial management information system, as well as the ongoing biometric data capture for the integrated personnel and payroll information system, just to mention a few.
“The recent feats achieved by the service cost a lot of money. For the government to continue providing the necessary funds to support Nigerian Air Force operations, it behoves on you to continue to maintain high level of integrity as finance personnel in the management of these public funds.
“It is pertinent to state that despite a decline in governmental allocation, the Nigerian Air Force alongside sister services have been able to achieve commendable successes in counter-insurgency and the fight against armed banditry plaguing various regions of the country.
“The Nigerian Air Force has been able to effectively deploy its platforms to these areas in support of sister services. This much was achieved through prudent management of resources allocated to the service and strict compliance with procurement laws.”
Meanwhile, the chief of defence, space administration of the federal Defence Space Administration (DSA), Major-General E.G. Whyte, has revealed that Nigeria will adopt the use of space science technology in fighting insurgency.
Major-General Whyte made this known at the inaugural ceremony of Basic and Intermediate training on space technology and spacecraft engineering on Monday, January 14, at the Obasanjo Space Centre, Abuja.
Speaking to journalists after the event, the DSA boss noted that in contemporary times, science is required to effectively engage in warfare, adding that the Nigerian military will employ the use of space science technology to impact national security.
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