Shawulu, who is the Chairman of House of Representatives Committee on Army, said this on Thursday while declaring open the two-day 2nd army “Procurement Awareness Seminar.’’
The lawmaker, who was the special guest at the occasion, however, noted that logistics requirement of the security agencies were numerous and expensive.
He also noted that the current economic reality in the country was hampering the adequate provision of funds for such logistics.
“It, therefore, becomes imperative that the Nigerian Army sets its priority rights and develop an efficient and effective procurement process in accordance with extant regulations to maximise the use of lean resources,’’ he said.
Shawulu said that the 8th National Assembly had in the last budget sessions increased the budgetary allocations to the Armed Forces, to empower them to operate “optimally.’’
He said whether those funds were released or not “is entirely another matter.’’
The lawmaker, however, said that one of the major challenges the national assembly faced in the efforts to improve funding for the military was “reoccurring issue of transparency and accountability.’’
“No doubt the army, and indeed the armed forces, have been in the eye of the storm with regards to the allegations, confessions and investigations by the anti-corruption agencies.
“These allegations and accusations have continued to hamper the efforts to open new windows of funding,’’ the lawmaker said.
He commended the army for the seminar, noting that it was one of the ways of reassuring the public that “all is well with whatever funds are allocated and released to the security agencies.’’
The Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, said the operational capability of the army largely depended on the availability of requisite hardware, highly trained personnel and other essential resources.
Buratai said that in the last few years, the army had taken steps to emplace policies at enhancing its procurement plans and processes to meet its constitutional duties.
“This seminar, therefore, provides a veritable platform for us to familiarise and educate ourselves sufficiently on procurement matters that would enable the Nigerian Army to compete successfully in the opportunities that arise from the implementation of the national budget,’’ he said.
The first procurement seminar was held in August, 2017.
The theme of the 2nd seminar was “Optimising the Operational Capabilities of the Nigerian Army through an Effective Procurement System.’’ (NAN)