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Only Nine Per Cent Of Armed Forces Budget Is Spent On Equipment – Gbajabiamila



BREAKING: Gbajabiamila Threatens To Arrest Emefiele Over Old Naira Notes' Deadline

House of Representatives Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila has disclosed that only nine per cent of the total budgetary allocation to the Nigerian Armed Forces is spent on equipment.

Gbajabiamila spoke at a public hearing on the Armed Forces Support Trust Fund (Establishment) Bill, organised by the House Committee on Defence on Monday in Abuja.

According to the speaker, appropriation records show that about 91 per cent of the current funding of the Armed Forces is spent on recurrent overhead, salaries and welfare.

“This bill seeks to provide an injection of additional capital funding for the Armed Forces of Nigeria at a crucial time in our nation.

“I am sure many of you will wonder why the Armed Forces of Nigeria need an additional financial injection at this time.

“The fact based on appropriation records is that about 91 per cent of the current funding to the Armed Forces go on recurrent overhead, salaries and welfare, leaving only nine per cent for capital purchases.

“This reality has prompted this 9th House of Representatives to seek a way of providing funds that will be focused on the capital needs and training of our Armed Forces,’’ he said.

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Gbajabiamila said that the importance of the bill was evidenced by the dwindling resources available to the Armed Forces of Nigeria to prosecute the various security operations it was involved in.

According to him, this requires innovative ideas to raise additional funds without placing any burden on Nigerians, in support of the Nigerian military.

According to Gbajabiamila, Nigeria’s expenditure on military hardware and training in the last five years hovers between a paltry nine to 11 per cent of budgetary allocation to the Armed Forces.

He said that it was grossly incapable of empowering the military to face the security challenges in the country especially the insurgency in the North East.

Gbajabiamila said that to succeed in the fight against insecurity, the Armed Forces of Nigeria required training and more funding for modern weapons.

He said that spending on military hardware must definitely increase to support the commitment already being exhibited by the soldiers.

The speaker said the bill was a time-limited endeavour to upgrade the equipment infrastructure of the Armed Forces.

According to him, if Nigeria must develop, it needs to get its security estate right by ensuring that the military is adequately equipped and well-trained .

This requires funding which cannot be sourced solely through the annual budget provisions, he said.

According to Gbajabiamila , during war times, countries do not fund their military through regular appropriation alone as seen in the United States, United Kingdom and all Western powers who engage in extra- budgetary funding.

“Nigeria is at war against insurgency, terrorism, kidnapping and all manner of insecurity; hence the need to uplift the resources available to our armed services to enable them to procure the best tools to help win this war.

“So, what we seek to do in this bill is not new or unique to us as a nation; the solution to our security challenges requires asymmetric actions across many policy areas. This is what we have tried to do as the representatives of the people.

“The concept of a trust fund already exists for the Nigerian Police; it only makes sense to also bolster our military capability as well through this unique vehicle,’’ he said.

In his remarks, Chairman, House, House Committee on Defence, Rep. Benson Babajimi (APC-Lagos) said that the bill sought to explore alternative sources of funding for the armed forces.

He said that the need to create additional funding for the military had become apparent giving the myriad of security challenges facing the country.

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According to him, only approximately nine per cent of the annual budgetary allocation is available for capital expenditure in the military; a large chunk goes for recurrent expenditure.

The rep said that the Nigerian armed forces had continued to expand and there was the need to provide adequate weaponry and equipment to sustain the ever-increasing operations.

Babajimi said that efforts in the past to meet the required weapons to adequately combat insecurity had met brick wall due to insufficient funds.

He said that Nigeria ranked very low in terms of defence spending and that developed countries like the U. S., Russia, United Kingdom, Poland all have alternative sources of funding for defence.

According to him, Nigeria spends $2.6 billion, ranking fourth in Africa after Algeria, Morocco and South Africa which spend $9.7 billion, $4.8 billion and $3.1 billion respectively.

He said given the security challenge facing the country, the fund was aimed at ensuring robust, efficient, well-trained and equipped armed forces.

The chairman said that the house would stop at nothing to ensure that the Nigerians were safe and their property secured across the country.

Dr Charles Omole, the Special Assistant to the Speaker on National Security and Intelligence, said that the bill was not placing extra responsibility on the citizens or taxes on businesses in the country.

He explained that the revenue for the fund would be sourced from statutory deductions as well as voluntary donations from individuals or organisations.

According to Omole, the bill expressly states that the funds will only be spent on equipment and special trainings for military personnel.


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BREAKING: PDP Suspends Anyim, Fayose



Anyim and Fayose

Former governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose; former president of the Senate, Pius Anyim; Prof Dennis Ityavyar and Aslam Aliyu were on Thursday suspended from the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP).

The PDP made the suspension on Thursday after an extensive review of the affairs of the party, pursuant to the provisions of the PDP Constitution (as amended in 2017).

The PDP also referred the Governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom, to the National Disciplinary Committee over his reported involvement in anti-party activities.

This was disclosed in a statement signed by the National Publicity Secretary, Debo Ologunagba.

“The PDP urges all leaders, critical stakeholders and teeming members of our party across the country to remain united and focused at this critical time,” the statement added.


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BREAKING: Ekweremadu, Wife Found Guilty Of Organ-trafficking In UK



Ekweremadu and his wife

A United Kingdom court has found former Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, 60, his wife Beatrice, 56, and Dr Obinna Obeta, 50,  guilty of an organ-trafficking plot, which saw them bring a 21-year-old man to the UK

They were convicted of conspiring to exploit the man from Lagos for his kidney, reports the BBC.

Prosecutors told the Old Bailey the organ was to be removed and given to the couple’s daughter, Sonia, aged 25.

She was cleared of the same charge.

The victim, a street trader from Lagos, was brought to the UK last year to provide a kidney in an £80,000 private transplant at the Royal Free Hospital in London.

They were later arrested at the airport while trying to leave the UK.

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NLC Orders Workers To Shut CBN Offices Nationwide Over Naira Scarcity



NLC Suspends Plan To Protest Against Fuel Subsidy Removal

Worried about the continued scarcity of naira, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has officially declared a nationwide . The national president of the union, Joe Ajaero, gave the directive during a media briefing in Abuja.

Ajaero also directed that affiliate unions constituting the NLC should be on standby for picketing exercises across all branches of the Central Bank of Nigeria nationwide.

The NLC earlier issued a seven-day ultimatum to the Federal Government to end the petrol and cash scarcity being experienced in the country.

Ajaero told journalists on Wednesday that the industrial action became the last resort of the NLC following the expiration of the ultimatum.

He said the decision to picket the CBN branches became necessary as the federal government and the CBN had failed to show any commitment to addressing the situation.

Ajaero lamented that despite the Supreme Court order that the old N200, N500 and N1000 notes remain legal tender until December 31, 2023, the situation kept getting worse.

He said workers could not access cash to pay fares to work.

He also criticised the pricing irregularities in the petroleum sector.

“Last week, we gave an ultimatum for the review of the cash crunch bedevilling the country, but we have discovered to our dismay that as at this moment not much effort has been made to ameliorate the situation. Government is still foot-dragging on these issues we raised,” Ajaero said.

“Based on this, we met again this morning to review our position and resolved that by Wednesday next week all CBN branches will be picketed. Workers are directed to stay at home too because people cannot eat, workers can no longer go to the office, we have been pushed to the wall.

“We have decided to take our destiny in our hands, we have mobilised our workers on this exercise.”

The NLC has no fewer than 43 affiliate unions which include, but not limited to, the Academic Staff Union of Universities, the Nigeria Union of Pensioners, and the National Union of Road Transport Workers.

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