By Raphael Ekpang
The Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General, Tukur Buratai has appealed to the National Assembly to prevail on the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning for a separate budgetary system for the Nigeria Army.
Buratai made the appeal on Thursday during the defence of the 2020 budget of the Army at the National Assembly in Abuja.
He conversed for a system where the Army would not be included in the current envelope system where the release of funds has not been that easy.
According to the Army chief this followed ongoing structural changes and volatile security challenges as well as massive engagement of troops in almost the 36 states of the Federation.
He disclosed that only 40 per cent of the 2019 capital component of the Army’s budget has been released; noting that the delay in the release of the remaining has affected the Army’s decision of purchasing the required sophisticated equipment to effectively prosecute the war against insurgency and terrorism.
However, the elated Chief of Army Staff commended the NASS joint committee on Army for their visit to the trouble areas in Borno State.
The NASS committee, led by Senator, Ali Ndume, had on October, 10, 2019 visited Borno state where they met with some of the troops on the front-line.
Sen. Ndume said they were in Borno as part of their oversight responsibilities to, specifically, interface with the troops with a view to finding out their challenges and what they need to effectively end the insurgency.
“The main reason the joint committee on the army is here is in line with our collective decision that there is a need for us to see things for ourselves and have a first-hand appreciation of what is going on here in Borno State, ” he said.
Meanwhile, Buratai said their visit was a morale boost to the troops and the Nigeria Army in general, while stating that the visit meant a lot to them.
He noted further that the visit of the NASS joint committee shows that the 9th assembly is fully ready to back up the army in her quest to decimate the insurgence across the country.