Senator Ali Ndume (APC-Borno South) has revealed that the Nigerian Army now rations its ammunition for the fight against Boko Haram and other criminals.
Speaking on Tuesday, Ndume, who is the chairman of the Senate Committee on Army, stated that the rationing of ammunition is common practice among the soldiers.
According to the lawmaker, the army has continually blamed its poor performance of curbing insurgency in the northeast on lack of funds.
“Never in the history of this country has Nigeria been challenged from various angles like this time. It has gotten so bad that in this country of ours, citizens have resorted to negotiating with criminals to live in peace,” Ndume said.
“In Shiroro, residents have entered into negotiations with criminals to allow them to exist in peace. In Nigeria of today, we have a government within government and all these are because of security.
“When we confront the Nigerian army, ‘why are you not performing?’, they will tell us ‘we don’t have money; we only manage with what we have.’ Up to my own village, Gwoza, which used to be the headquarters of the so-called caliphate, it was getting used to Boko Haram attacks.
“I interact with the armed forces very regularly. It is so bad that the Nigerian army is rationing ammunition. Rationing is common. They ration ammunition. I can be quoted, I have gone round the formations; I have not seen a Nigerian soldier holding a brand new AK-47 yet.”
Ndume’s comment comes amid concerns about funding for the army.
The Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning had denied claims that it withheld funds appropriated for the Nigerian Army.
The head of the ministry, Zainab Ahmed, while speaking during an interactive session with members of the Senate Committee on Army, chaired by Ndume on Tuesday, said the N1trn had been released for the Nigerian Army from 2019 till April 2021.
Ahmed defended her ministry noting that apart from funding the budget of the army almost 100 per cent, there had been a lot of instances where the security service went to the president, got special approvals “and we still provide funds.
“So perhaps what we’re providing is not enough, but the fact is we provide what’s budgeted and we provide what’s approved,” she said.
Source: Naija News