The Nigerian Army has sought an exemption from the budget ceiling or envelop budgeting method in funds allocation to Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).

The call follows the major challenge which it poses in the adequate funding of the army in the performance of its constitutional duties. The review of the budgeting system will help the Nigerian Army to increase its capacity to perform its duties and be able to acquire more equipment to fight insecurity across the country.

This appeal was made by the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt.-General Farouk Yahaya, on Wednesday, when he appeared before the Senate Committee on Army for budget defence.

What the Chief of Army Staff is saying

While noting that the army was committed to securing the territorial integrity of the country from any violation, the COAS said if the army was taken off the envelope system, it would enable it carry out its operations more effectively.

Yahaya said that the proposed budget for the army for the 2022 budget is N710 billion.

He said, “The sum of N642.7 billion only should be approved for Nigerian Army Personnel Emolument for Year 2022 Budget. The sum of N29.6 billion only should be approved for overhead budget and N37.6 billion for Capital Budget.

“The National Assembly should cause the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning to begin the release of Year 2022 Nigerian Army Capital Budget in the First Quarter of 2022.”

According to NAN, he, however, said that of the figure, the ministry’s budget ceiling reduced it to a total sum of N579 billion.

He said that the reduction would negatively affect the capacity and tempo of the Nigerian Army in carrying out its constitutional duties particularly the ongoing war against Boko Haram Terrorists and other criminalities across the country.

The Army boss said. “I passionately appeal to this committee to impress it on the ministry of finance, budget and national planning to begin the release of Year 2022 Nigerian Army Capital Budget in the First Quarter of 2022.

“This will help the Nigerian Army to rehabilitate dilapidated accommodations in over 138 barracks and training facilities across army units/formations. It will also help in procuring the needed equipment and platforms to prosecute the war against terrorism and other criminalities across the country.”

He noted that adequate funding would help the army to invest in needed technology and platforms to effectively discharge its constitutional mandate.

Speaking during the session with the Chief of Army Staff, the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Army, Senator Mohammed Ndume, admitted that the budgetary allocation to the Nigerian army is grossly inadequate under the present circumstances.

Ndume said that the committee agrees that the security agencies cannot be included in the envelope budgetary system with the current security challenges as the ceiling in their expenditure is not ideal.

What you should know

The envelope budgeting system divides your income into different spending categories—bills, groceries, gas, and so on. Once you’ve decided how much you should spend on each category, you’ll take that amount in cash and place it into an envelope. Then, only spend what’s available in that envelope for that category’s bills or purchases.

The aim is to prevent you from overspending by limiting what is available to spend.