The Chief of Army Staff, (COAS), Lt. General Tukur Buratai, has lamented that poor funding of the Nigerian Army which has hindered the effective maintenance of its infrastructure in the country.
Butatai said this during a visit by members of the Senate and House of Representatives’ Joint Committee on Army, on an oversight function at the Army Headquarters in abuja.
“have achieved a lot, as you go round, you will see the efforts, with great difference in terms of facility development, but, there is still much to be done. The funding still remains a challenge. It couldn’t have been a challenge, if the various infrastructure had been maintained over the years.
“But still, what were the problems that generated, what are the conditions today, is still as a result of inadequacy of funding. By and large, we have made significant differences, and we pray that this funding pattern should continue” he said.
The Chief of Army Staff also stated that the army under his watch had not misused the funds appropriated to it in the 2018 budget, promising that he would continue to judiciously utilise what came to the service, while acknowledging the constitutional mandate of the National Assembly
“We know the constitutional mandate of the National Assembly, and we see it as a way of maintaining the checks and balances in the general administration of the Army, and by implication, the country as a whole.
“We know that the Nigerian Army has that constitutional responsibility, to defend the country against external aggression, to equally protect our sovereignty, and also to support the civil authority, when called upon to do that.
“We have been performing these constitutional duties with all the commitment, zeal as well as with absolute loyalty to the Constitution, and constituted authority. We assure you that all the funds that have been appropriated, have been judiciously utilised.”
Also speaking, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Army, Senator George Akume,while commending the efforts of the army assured that the joint visit was not an inquisition but an exercise to ensure that appropriated funds were properly used.
“These committees will, therefore, be grateful if the Nigerian Army under your leadership (COAS) furnishes us with details of all the projects and their locations, to enable us oversight them, with respect to funding as well as appropriated under the 2017/2018 budget.
“This is not an Inquisition, and this is not the first time the committees will be doing this work.
“We want to commend the Army for your presence in maintaining peace and order, particularly in the North East.” He said.