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Army seeks exemption from envelope budgeting

By John Akubo (Abuja) and Njadvara Musa (Maiduguri)
04 November 2021   |   3:04 am
Based on the peculiarity of security issues, the Nigerian army has called on the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning to exempt it from envelope budgeting.

Maj.-Gen. Farouk Yahaya

Zulum re-opens Bama–Banki road

Based on the peculiarity of security issues, the Nigerian army has called on the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning to exempt it from envelope budgeting.

The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt-Gen. Farouk Yahaya, made the call in Abuja, yesterday when he appeared before the Senate Committee on Army to defend the army’s 2022 budget proposal.

He decried the envelope budgeting system in which the army is yoked together with other ministries and agencies.

Calling on the National Assembly to prevail on the ministry to free the Nigeria Army from the yoke, the COAS said the subsisting budgeting system had been a major challenge inadequately funding the army to carry out its constitutional duties.

The army, according to him, proposed N710 billion for 2022, but the finance ministry reduced it to N579 billion.

The reduction in the budget would impede the army’s capacity and tempo in prosecuting the ongoing war against Boko Haram and other criminalities across the country.

IN Borno State, Governor Babagana Zulum has re-opened the Bama–Banki road, nine years after its closure over the Boko Haram insurgency.

The Nigerian Army closed the 65-kilometre border road to Cameroon because of the incessant attacks that claimed life and property.

While re-opening the road, yesterday, near Bama, the governor warned Immigration and other security personnel manning the border road to desist from extorting motorists and commuters at the various checkpoints.

“Any Immigration personnel that wants to collect money should relocate to the border checkpoint in Banki,” he said, warning that no such tax from motorists and commuters would be tolerated by the state government.

He commended the efforts of President Muhammadu Buhari through the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Gen. Lucky Irabor, and the Theatre Commander, Maj-Gen. Christopher Musa, for restoring peace to the state and North East.

Zulum ordered the military to arrest anybody that engages in the smuggling of petroleum products and other goods.

He also pledged his support for the Theatre Commander of Operation Hadin Kai (OPHK) troops of 151 and 152 Battalion in protecting the border road.