Defence and Security
Senate investigates budget utilisation by army
The Senate said on Wednesday that it had commenced investigation into the Nigerian Army’s utilisation of its 2019, 2020 and 2021 budgets.
The Chairman, Senate Committee on Army, Sen. Mohammed Ali Ndume, made the disclosure when he led commitee members on oversight of the 6 Division Nigerian Army, Port Harcourt.
Ndume said the investigation would enable the committee to properly make budgetary allocation for the army in 2022.
According to him, the inspection of projects in barracks and interaction with the army hierarchy would enable the committee to make adjustments in the 2022 Appropriation Bill.
“This will enable the committee to know areas that need adjustment, addition and attention, especially now that the 2022 budget is before the National Assembly.
“This oversight function will enable us to allocate what the army will get in 2022 with focus to the security challenges we are facing across the country,” he said.
Ndume said the strength of any nation was determined by the strength of its military and paramilitary agencies, noting that the government would continue to assist them to succeed.
He noted that the army was currently being overstretched due to its engagement in multiple fronts across the country.
“We commend the military and encourage the new guard (service chiefs) to continue with their good works while observing the rules of engagement,” he added.
The senator thanked the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt.-Gen. Farouk Yahaya, for boosting the morale of troops and condoled with the 6 Division over the death of Maj.-Gen. Olu Irefin.
The General Officer Commanding (GOC), 6 Division Nigerian Army, Maj.-Gen. Sani Mohammed, commended the committee for its efforts to address the constraints in the army.
“We are happy that most of the interventions have been done especially in the area of equipment that are coming and efforts to improve army barracks.
“We also appreciate the donation of various types of operational vehicles to the army while the COAS has informed us that many more are coming,” he said.
Meanwhile, the House of Representatives on Wednesday said it would consider better budgetary allocation for the Nigerian Navy in the 2022 Appropriation Bill.
The Chairman, House Committee on Navy, Rep. Yusuf Gadji, gave the assurance whe he led other members of the committee on inspection of projects at the Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS) Pathfinder, Port Harcourt.
According to him, the navy and NNS Pathfinder had recorded milestone achievements in the execution of projects in its formations and units as budgeted in the 2020 fiscal year.
“We are on oversight to seek feedback from the navy that we superintend over, to enable us to address the concerns and seek ways to improve their operations.
“Going by what we have seen from our inspection of NNS Pathfinder base, we can say that they are doing a good job in the area of contract execution.
“We understand the challenges in this base but we will only assist in budgeting for the primary projects that are more significant due to the meagre resources available,” he said.
Gadji said the National Assembly was currently seeking ways to make the nation’s armed forces self-sufficient in the area of funding.
“To this end, we have two bills before the national assembly, including the Armed Forces Support Fund and the Maritime Security Trust Fund.
“These bills when passed will go a long way to solving the problems associated with funding of our military,” he said.
In a presentation, the Commander, NNS Pathfinder, Commodore Abdullahi Ahmed, said the base had destroyed hundreds of illegal refineries, bunkering sites as well as made many arrests in 2021 alone.
He said the successes were recorded with the deployment of swamp buggy machines that completely crushes the illegal refineries, thereby making it impossible for them to be reactivated. (NAN)
Defence and Security
Security: Strengthens Fight Against Sea Crimes With 14 Enhancement Boats
The Federal Government has commissioned enforcement and security facilities for the nation’s maritime industry, including five new patrol and security boats.
The Minister of Transportation, Mu’azu Sambo, who commissioned the project in Lagos State on Monday, said the project was part of the government’s commitment to good governance and institutionalised policies for improved maritime safety and security.
“The commissioning reaffirms our commitment as the project to be commissioned is directly tied to the mission of NIMASA which is to achieve and sustain safe, secure shipping, cleaner oceans and enhanced maritime capacity in line with best global practices towards Nigeria’s economy and development.
“There are five sets of the art enforcement platforms that will ensure strict compliance and adherence that will expand laws governing the operations of the maritime domain.
“These platforms will give NIMASA the much-needed tools required to function as a maritime administration in line with the protocols and conventions of the International Maritime Organization and International Labour Organization to which NIMASA represents Nigeria as its contracting partners,” he said.
The Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Bashir Jamoh, stated that the expansion of its security access would intensify the internal security under waterways, taking into cognizance the recent cases of oil theft.
“While we have our vision set on achieving something great, we spontaneously took cognizance of the damaging impact of piracy, kidnapping of sea bearers, smuggling, illegal oil bunkering, robbery, sea unregulated and unreported fishing has harped on our maritime sector.
“Beyond the stride and overcoming the maritime crime at the Gulf of Guinea, the management of the maritime administration put more attention on ensuring that we maintain steady and straightforward output in building our infrastructure,” he added.
Defence and Security
National Defence College alumni association advocates security for nation’s forests
The Alumni Association of the National Defence College (AANDEC) on Monday in Abuja advocated for concerted efforts to secure the nation’s forests.
The association also advocated for the deployment of technology by the military and other security agencies in tackling insecurity across the country.
AANDEC made the calls at a news conference addressed by its president, retired Air Commodore Darlington Abdullahi, to herald its 12th national security seminar.
The seminar, with the theme: “Application of Technology as Force Multiplier in Enhancing Peace and Security in Nigeria’’ holds in Abuja on Tuesday and Wednesday.
AANDEC organises the seminar annually in collaboration with the Office of the National Security Adviser and the National Defence College, to address, contemporary national security issues.
Abdullahi said the call for adoption of technology in fighting insecurity became necessary owing to the issue of uncovered spaces and number of forests being used by criminals as hideouts.
He said that AANDEC believed that it was time to consolidate on the successes already achieved by applying some force multipliers, considering the spread of criminal activities.
He added that there was the need to leverage on technology to adequately enhance security operations and put an end to terminologies such as “ungoverned spaces’’ and “unknown gunmen’’.
According to him, there is a limit to which the military can continually increase the physical strength of the security services.
Abdullahi noted that the association’s suggestions would, however, not replace good governance as a means of ensuring that Nigerians are adequately catered for and given a sense of belonging.
He commended the research and development efforts of the armed forces of Nigeria and those of other security agencies.
He suggested that the efforts could be increased through the consideration of private sector participation in the funding and management of the Nigeria Defence Industrial Complex.
He added that the efforts must be developed with a business model supported by state protection and aggressive regional marketing focused on local resources such as in technical education.
“The need to develop or review a Military Technology Development Strategy for the nation, especially the defence industrial base, deserves more attention now to aid self-sufficiency in defence equipment production.
“This can be achieved by developing clusters of interrelated value chains within category-based technological specificities such as the production of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles,’’ he said.
He noted that Brazil adopted the approach to prevent proliferation of research institutes.
He said also that AANDEC chose theme of the seminar to aid the development of a robust national defence industry, it’s funding and administration.
“This is considering all we have gone through in trying to manage or resolve conflicts and dealing with terrorists, insurgents, and cyber criminals, bandits and unknown gunmen,’’ Abdullahi explained.
Defence and Security
Nigeria Is Not Under Any Threat – Defence HQ
The Nigerian Defence Headquarters has said there is no cause for alarm with the presence of some United Nations Peacekeeping Fighting vehicles and equipment recently sighted in Benin, Edo State.
In a statement issued by Acting Director Defence Information, Brigadier General, Tukur Gusau, in Abuja, explained that Nigeria is contributing troops to various United Nations operations, the most recent is United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA), Southern Sudan. The Mission is commanded by a Nigerian, Major General Benjamin Olufemi Sawyerr.
General Gusau said It should be noted that the UN doesn’t have its own troops, rather it enters into agreement with troops contributing countries to provide their personnel and equipment for operations in its various missions.
‘Therefore, it is imperative to state emphatically that the military fighting vehicles and equipment painted in UN colour as sighted are being moved through the Warri port for movement to the mission area in Southern Sudan to marry up with our troops who were inducted into UNISFA mission last month.’
‘The Defence Headquarters wishes to react to some social media video clips been circulated arising from the presence of some United Nations Peacekeeping fighting vehicles and equipment sighted recently in Benin, Edo state. This has resulted to insinuations which are inimical to public peace and may even cause panic.’
The Director declared that the Defence Headquarters under the leadership of General Lucky Irabor CFR wish to assure Nigerians that our nation is not under any threat that will warrant the deployment of United Nations troops in our soil.
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