The funding of the military, especially the ongoing counter-insurgency
operation, is generating heated controversy especially over who
handles the money allocated to the military as both the Ministry of
Defence (MOD) and the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA)
have denied handling the money.
While the MOD has washed its hands off the expenditure of the
military, the ONSA, too, has done the same but the some officials of
the former have faulted the ONSA’s claim.
A critical section of the populace has been asking questions about the
funding of the ongoing counter-insurgency operation which involves the
military and all the security agencies such as the Defence
Intelligence Agency (DIA), the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) and
the Department of the State Security Services (DSS).
The controversy came to the open when our sister publication,
LEADERSHIP Weekend, in a story published in its last edition quoted a
ministry source alleging that the Ministry of Defence was not involved
in the funding of the operation. The story further disclosed that the
Presidency dealt directly with service chiefs.
Checks reveal that Nigeria is not among the leading countries in
Defence budgeting. Egypt spends $4billion (35 million manpower),
Ethiopia $300 (34 million manpower), South Africa $5million (14
million manpower), Nigeria $2.2billion (73 million manpower), Algeria
$8billion (20 million manpower), Kenya $5billion (20 million manpower)
and Libya $880 million (3 million manpower).
Another MOD official, who corroborated the story, explained that the
funding of the counter insurgency operation is being handled by the
Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA). According to him, the
MOD’s involvement in the funding of the military is on paper, not
“It is on paper that the military receives its fund through the MOD;
that may have to do with the overheads but when you are talking of the
real funding of the ongoing counter-insurgency operation, the vote is
allocated to the Office of the National Security Adviser.
This is why the ministry is not aware of the purchase of any
ammunition or any other thing that is needed for the operation. Some
soldiers, SSS and policemen and officers have just left the country
and going for the counter-insurgency training in a country near
Germany. The MOD is not aware of it. Whatever they need is channelled
to the NSA and all we are told is that some officers are travelling to
“You go and see what the NSA’s vote or allocation is and what it
contains in the budget. You will see that the Police, the Immigration,
Civil Defence Corps, NIA, DIA, DSS is on the list; this should not be
so. The NSA should be shielded and protected in all of these. In the
area of purchasing, who is in charge of the due process, verification,
qualities, standardisation, etc? By implication, ministries of
Interior, Defence, and the Police Affairs are not directly involved in
their capital expenditure, and the question is, who accounts for their
purchases? What we are saying is that, each of these ministries – not
only the MOD, should be deeply involved in all their transactions for
Reacting to a story published by TELL magazine, the ONSA, in a
statement issued and signed by the Special Adviser to the NSA on Media
and Publicity, Mr Karounwi Adekunle, denied ever being involved in the
funding of the military as reported.
He said: “Our attention has been drawn to the false and misleading
story published in TELL magazine of June 2, 2014, alleging that “for
some years now, defence funds have been under the management of the
National Security Adviser instead of the Ministry of Defence where the
funds were traditionally administered”.
“We state, clearly and unambiguously, that ONSA is separate from MOD
in all budgetary affairs. The ONSA defends its budgets before the
National Assembly and MOD does for its own. All budgetary provisions
are clearly spelt out and within the public domain. ONSA has no
responsibility for military personnel’s salaries and allowances,
capital projects or otherwise. All are within the domain of MOD. So,
how can the ONSA be accused of managing defence funds?“We request
that, for any allegation from any source about ONSA, please recourse
be made to the NSA for his own side of the story before publishing.
There is need for a holistic and balanced report at all times.”
While some people argue that the military is being poorly funded, some
disagree but argue that the money passed by the National Assembly is
being diverted or withheld by the Presidency. Some even argue that
military purchases some refurbished ammunition as a result of poor
funding or mismanagement of the money allocated to it.
A military source claimed that most of the contractors given jobs are
recommended by the National Assembly members and the officials of the
“If they are saying we are poorly funded, they should ask the National
Assembly and the Presidency those questions. How much do they allocate
to us yearly, and since the National Assembly performs oversight
functios over our spending, the members also have roles to play here.
But if you want to hear the truth, most of our contractors are
recommended by the National Assembly and the Presidency. But whatever
we have will be well managed to perform our constitutional
responsibilities,” he source.
The leadership of the opposition has been consistently calling on the
National Assembly, which performs oversight function on the military
and other security agencies, to look into their books because they
believe the military is failing in the prosecution of the war against
terror because of poor funding or mismanagement of the fund or both.
For the 2014 fiscal year, the federal government allocated the sum of
N968.13 billion to security and defence agencies in the country.
This allocation indicates a marginal increase of 1.36 per cent over
the N955.46 billion allocated to these agencies in 2013.
Minister of finance and coordinating minister of the economy, Dr Ngozi
Okonjo-Iweala, while giving a breakdown of the budget last week, said
that the N968.13 billion was for all Defence agencies, including the
Army, Navy Air Force, the police, as well as the ministry of interior
which also includes the Civil Defence.