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Reps assure Nigerian army of more funds

05 October 2012, 13:11

Abuja - The National Assembly on Thursday expressed its readiness to appropriate more funds for the maintenance of about 130 army barracks in the 2013 budget.  

Muktar Betara, the Chairman, House Committee on Army, said this shortly after inspecting rehabilitated and newly constructed 88 accommodations in five barracks under 81 Division, Lagos.

A total of N1.5 billion was  approved by the National Assembly in the 2012 budget for capital projects by the Nigerian Army.

Betara noted that the N1.5 billion was inadequate for capital projects,but  expressed  satisfaction with the work done so far by the army, through direct labour.

``To the committee, I think we must at least commend the Chief of Army Staff for a job well done.

``I was in the last House and I don't think we did even one oversight function within the army. This is the 7th National  Assembly, we have been moving round for oversight.
``The money is just not enough for the service; that is why we are going round to see things for ourselves,''

The chairman also said that the House would within the next  three weeks convene a meeting of  stakeholders within the defence sector, to discuss accommodation problems in the barracks.
Betara also promised to intervene in the pipe- bourne water challenges being experienced at Ikeja Cantonment, adding that, the committee would do something very urgently to address the problem.

Earlier, Brig.-Gen. Osamudiame Osemwota, who took the committee round the projects, said the Nigerian Army had utilised the resources appropriated for its capital projects this year.

He noted, however,  that a lot of funds would be needed for the service to be able to rehabilitate the over 130 barracks nationwide.

Highlight of the visit included dogs' demonstration at the Dog Centre, Ipaja, by counter-terrorist soldiers.

NAN reports that the dogs are trained to detect explosives and narcotics.



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