Informed: Olonisakin, Buratai, Others Spent N2.6trillion On Arms Under Buhari Apart From $1billion ECA Funds.

The finding shows that “in 2015, the military spent N397 billion on arms; in 2016, N444 billion; in 2017, N495 billion; in N2018; N654 billion; in 2019; N669 billion.” All in arms purchase for the fight against insurgence in the North east.

The recent past service chiefs who held the military leadership under President Muhammadu Buhari for about six years wasted more than N2.659 trillion on military arms and ammunition between 2015 and 2019, records have exposed. According to Sahara Reporters the N2.659 trillion is outside the contentious $1 billion Excess Crude Account Fund which was approved by Buhari in April 2018 despite public protest.

The $1 billion was however approved and issued, partly because the erstwhile military chiefs pressed upon the National Assembly that they did not have sufficient funds to battle the insurgency. The N2.659 trillion for combatant arms was the total, according to records, for 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019 and was distributed among the immediate past Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen Tukur Buratai (retd.), the former Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Olonisakin (retd.), the former Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ibas (retd.) and the former Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar (retd.).

The breakdown shows that “in 2015, the military spent N397 billion on arms; in 2016, N444 billion; in 2017, N495 billion; in N2018; N654 billion; in 2019; N669 billion.”According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, a Sweden-based group which details military transactions globally, Nigeria within these years bought arms from at least 13 countries. 

It is not explicit if some of the acquisitions were exaggerated or some parts of the funds were not disbursed for the goals intended.The SIPRI Arms Transfers Database identified the countries that supplied the arms as: “Brazil, which supplied EMB-314 Super Tucano trainer aircraft; Canada, which supplied Turboprop/turboshaft in 2018; China, which supplied SH-2122mm and SH-5105 self-propelled guns, VT-4 tanks, ZTL-09 armoured vehicles, CH-3 and CH-4 armed UAVs.”Other countries are France, Italy, Netherlands, Pakistan, Russia, South Africa, South Korea, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, and the United States.

Sahara Reporters had on Tuesday exclusively reported that the $1 billion set aside by Buhari from the Excess Crude Account to buy military arms and ammunition was actually issued to the military, and shared among the air force, the army and the navy under the immediate past service chiefs. 

Two Days ago Sahara Reporters learnt that the $1 billion issue was authorized by the National Assembly and shared to the military arms in 2019 without public knowledge to avoid criticisms.

In December 2018, Buratai, while addressing newsmen in Maiduguri, Borno State, had himself implied that the money had been released but had not, as of then, got to the army’s coffers.The National Security Adviser, Maj Gen Babagana Monguno (retd,), had last week questioned that some funds meant for the purchase of arms to fight Boko Haram and other security challenges in the country were missing.

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