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2024 budget: Army mulls unmanned aerial vehicle command

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….seeks more funding to fight insecurity

In a bid to ensure further safety of lives and properties in the country, the Nigerian Army is planning to set up Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Command for the effective surveillance in military operations.

It, however, disclosed that the creation of the Command would gulp a whopping N850, 000, 000.

This was just as the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General, Taoreed Lagbaja, who revealed these when he appeared before the National Assembly’s Joint Senate and House Committees on Army, said no to the federal government’s envelope budgeting system.

General Lagbaja, while giving a breakdown of the components of the force’s 2024 budget, told the Senator Abdulaziz Yar’Adua-led panel that immediate action must be taken to ensure success for the army in the various theatres of operations.

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He equally called on the National Assembly to expedite passage of the Armed Forces Support Trust Fund Bill before the expiration of the 10th Assembly.

General Lagbaja stressed that Army and other services of the Nigerian Army forces will benefit from the passage of the bill through improved funding.

While explaining the force’s 2024 budget proposal which showed that it attained a 68% percentage performance as at December 5, in her 2023 working budget, he showed that “the increased security challenges in various parts of the country has necessitated the need for more training of Army personnel.

“More fund is needed to cater for continuous movement of troops and logistics from one training or operation area to another across the country,” he said.

Continuing, he asked the lawmakers to approve the sum of N10billion to construct accommodation for officers across the country.

This is as he revealed that it would expended the N5,150,000,000 to upgrade its ammunition holding, inorder to ensure success in the various operations it is in involved in.

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He maintained that N2,200,000,000 would be required for the clothing of new recruits, and kitting of all officers, and soldiers.

On the 2024 Army Appropriation Bill, the Army boss unveiled N787.2 Billion for 2024 fiscal year, with personnel cost standing at N647.5 billion, and overhead totalling N31.6 billion, while capital expenditure stood at N107.9 billion.

He revealed that if implemented, the Army hopes to record a 91% percentage performance rate for the fiscal year.

Meanwhile, he described the accidental bombing of Tudun Biri in the Igabi Local Government Area of Kaduna State on December 3 as a regrettable error, assuring such would not reoccur.

In scrutinizing the Army 2024 budget, the committee chairman commended the Army Chief for taking responsibility for the incident in Kaduna State.

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He maintained that investigation was on to get to the root of the matter.

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