By Ado Hassan, Sokoto
SENATE Committee Chairman on Army, Senator Muhammad Ali Ndume has said that the military needs an upward review of its budgetary allocation to adequately confront insurgency, banditry and other security challenges in the country.
He said the 1% annual budgetary allocation is inadequate for the army in the face of insecurity being experienced across the country.
Senator Ndume spoke Tuesday night in Sokoto while the committee was on an oversight function at the 8 Division Nigerian Army , Headquarters, Sokoto.
He said the army cannot operate in a state of war as fighting insurgency and other hybrid crimes without adequate funding .
” A country like Nigeria can’t be in a state of war with low budgetary allocation for the military. Its allocation is grossly inadequate to meet their operational needs”, he noted.
According to the Senator who was in company of Senators Abba Moro, Hassan Mainasiha, Col. Amos (rtd) among other committee members said only if properly funded that the army would strategies and appropriately prepare their operational activities .
The Borno South Senatorial District representative in the senate further remarked that ” though, there are constraints at the level of appropriation because some don’t understand the operational components of the army.
” Other countries spend more on their military for their role in times of war and other serious security challenges in defence of their sovereign and territorial integrity”, he cited an example.
He explained that the oversight visit which was basically a fact finding drive, has availed the committee better knowledge on the operational activities of the 8 Division as the coordinating military organ on Hadarin Daji and Sahel security across North west states of Katsina, Sokoto, Kebbi and Zamfara states to tame the threat of banditry in the axis.
” Not only fighting banditry, we noted the 8 Division Headquarters have serially involved in socio-economic activities by extending gestures in form of palliative to locals across communities whichbia comparatively different as in the North East with exception for some small areas where there are good rain fall for farming”, Ndume pointed out.
Though, the lawmaker who expressed shock on the interactive briefing at the operations room said ” what we learnt and saw on the operation Hadarin Daji and Sahel security activities are unbelievable and composite in nature.
“They are strictly confidential not for public consumption. The successes recorded are the operational efforts of the 8 Division Headquarters. Which are backed by facts.”
He assured the army Division of his committee’s and senate readiness to continue to talk to those in authority for the military with a view to influencing better attention through adequate funding .”
Earlier, the Acting General Officer Commanding 8 Division Nigerian Army Headquarters, Brigadier General Aminu Bande told the committee that since the relocation of the Division to Sokoto, it had been involved in series of security operation activities across Katsina, Sokoto , Kebbi and Zamfara states.
He took time to give detail security situation and other aspects relating to their operational activities at a confidential session with the committee that lasted over 40 minutes at the operational room also attended by other senior officers of the Division.
” Even though, the Division is the youngest but not in size nor performance under the direct supervision of the Nigerian Army Defence Headquarters . It has a supervisory camp in Faskari for Sahel security operation”, he said.
However, Bande urged the media to continue to assist in promoting the security operational activities of the army Division, based on facts as it were for the stability of the country