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Military budgets N38bn for weapons in 2018

Olaleye Aluko, Abuja
The Nigerian military has budgeted about N38bn for the purchase of ammunition, fighter jets and helicopters in 2018 as part of its efforts to tackle the Boko Haram insurgency in the North-East.
Image result for Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Abayomi Olonishakin
This figure was obtained from the breakdown of procurements covering the Nigerian Army, Nigerian Air Force and the Nigerian Navy, as contained in the 2018 budget.
Our correspondent learnt from the breakdown that the army budgeted N5,281,288,780 for the “procurement of ammunition of various types and calibres,” while it said another N1,024,800,000 was for part payment for three light utility helicopters.
In the 2017 budget, the army had also budgeted N5bn for the procurement of weapons to prosecute the anti-terrorism war.
Meanwhile, in the breakdown of the 2018 budget, the army set aside N1bn for the purchase of armoured vehicles, and N300m for the acquisition of 25 infantry patrol vehicles.
Other expenses are the purchase of vehicles for the  Operation Lafiya Dole, the military anti-insurgency operation in the North-East, and other operations, which would gulp N235,697,000.
The total budgetary allocation of the army for the anti-insurgency war stands at about N7.5bn.
An excerpt from the budget partly read, “ERGP14109223 – Procurement of ammunition of various types and calibres N5,281,288,780. ERGP14109846 – Purchase of vehicles for the Operation Lafiya Dole and other ongoing operations N235,697,000. ERGP14109851 – Acquisition of 25 infantry patrol vehicles N300m. ERGP14109867 – 40 per cent down payment for purchase of 3 LUH AS350 N1,024,800,000.”
Meanwhile, for the air force, the military budgeted N22bn for the purchase of fighter aircraft.
The budget partly read, “Item ERGP 14108520 – Part payment for procurement of three JF-17 Thunder aircraft, support equipment and spares is N13,121,842,710. Item ERGP 14108531 –Procurement of two Agusta AW109 helicopters is N6,817,486,800.”
Other ammunition procurements by the air force in the budget are procurement of various arms and aircraft ammunition put at N3,652,625,000.
For the navy, there are plans to procure two landing ship tanks for N5,945,886,655, while an hydro-survey ship would be purchased for N3,396,000,000.
Also, the navy said it would restock with ammunition and ballistic equipment at N2,226,126,920.

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