Nigerian Senate confirms causes of deplorable state of Army barracks
The Nigerian Senate says that the continuous cases of armed banditry, insurgency, killings, kidnapping and the destruction of property are responsible for the deplorable state of Army barracks across the country.
This was confirmed after the Chairman of Senate Committee on Army, Senator Mohammed Ali Ndume, All Progressives Congress, APC, Borno South, spoke with journalists. As the committee visited some military formations in Plateau and Bauchi states to carry out some oversight activities, the Chairman stressed that money that ought to have been channelled towards the fixing of the barracks were being paid as allowances to the personnel participating in the wars against insurgency and banditry.
According to the Senate, the poor state of Army barracks across the country may not be addressed fully if the ongoing wars against insurgency and banditry continues.
More efforts are required from the two chambers of the National Assembly to ensure that more money is appropriated for the renovation of old barracks as well as possible construction of new ones.
Ndume said, “We went on oversight activities to see the conditions of the barracks as well as assess the implementation of the 2021 budget of the Army regarding some capital projects. We assessed the implementation of the 2021 budget meant for the renovation of old structures in the barracks and the new ones being built.
“We are impressed about the quality of the jobs done and the speed at which they are being delivered, The conditions of the barracks is deplorable. The parameter fencing, the road network and the walls of the buildings are all dilapidated and they need complete rehabilitation or even reconstruction
“The Nigerian Army is being involved in activities that are not its primary responsibilities. They are now involved in duties that should ordinarily be handled by the police or other security agencies. Despite that, the Nigerian Army is doing its best.
“Too many funds are going into the various operations especially with the insurgency in the North East, banditry in the North West and instances of farmers-herders clashes as well as other tribal crises.
“It is unfortunate that the Nigerian Army for a long time has not been properly taken care of. The condition of the barracks is bad because they are not being maintained while much money is going into operations.
“The money needed to fix the barracks is enormous and the government should approve more funds to the Nigerian Army.
“There are no new barracks being built and the existing ones are not being maintained. The army is engaged in various operations and the non-regular allowances that are being paid is enormous.
“So much money is going into the payment of allowances that could have been avoided if the nation is at peace. Such money would have been used to fix the barracks.”
Suzan O. /NAN