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Reps want EFCC to probe Nigerian Army’s budget

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The House of Representative Committee on Army has stated that soldiers fighting the war against insurgency in the North-east do not have adequate arms and ammunitions, contrary to the claims of the military.

The committee revealed that the soldiers still rationed arms and ammunition in their war against terrorists.

Chairman of the committee, Rima Shawulu, revealed this at the presentation of a report on the 2016 budget of the Army to the Committee on Appropriation.

His report however pushed the lawmakers to call on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to look into how the Army spent its money being with the Air Force currently.

The Committee on Appropriation, which is chaired by Abdulmumin Jibrin, has been receiving reports on the 2016 budget from all the standing committees of the House in preparation of the passage of the budget in the second week of March by the National Assembly.

Shawulu however noted that the funding for the welfare of the soldiers and procurement of weapons continues to be inadequate.

He noted that the N139 billion the Army got this year would not be enough as many soldiers still do not have arms and ammunition.

He said, “Soldiers are being given arms and ammunition to ration in the war front. Our soldiers have to be well-catered for so that they don’t have to fight with bare hands,” he told the committee.”

Shawulu revealed to the committee that personnel allocation for the Army this year was less by N7.8bn even though the Army would still recruit more soldiers this year.

Shawulu said, “We have a situation where our soldiers are living in sub-human conditions with no housing accommodation. Most barracks have no perimeter fencing; the Amphibious Battalion in Calabar, for example, has no swimming pool for training purposes.”

Members of the Committee on Appropriation further noted that despite the fact that the Army got its budget approved every year, the soldiers are still without adequate supplies.

Jibrin said, “In all my years in the National Assembly, the Army has always had its budget approved intact.

“Perhaps, it is high time the EFCC probed how the Army spends its money.

“The anti-graft agency has just started with the Air Force and people are shouting. Maybe, the commission should probe the Army too; let us know what is happening to the money the Army gets every year.”

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