Member of the House of Representatives proposes 16 clause-bill establishing Bureau for Defence Logistics with the sole responsibility of managing military procurement and acquisitions in the country. The lawmaker wants the proposed Bureau to restore and strengthen the readiness and lethality of the Nigerian Armed Forces
The House of Representatives has decried the huge amount of funds appropriated for Nigeria’s defence without much result.
Flowing from this, a member of the Green Chamber, Rep. Sulaiman Abubakar Gumi is proposing a bill to take charge of the logistics of all military formations. The piece of legislation is titled: ‘A Bill for an Act to Establish the Bureau for Defense Logistics Charged With the Responsibility of Providing Logistics, Acquisition and Technical Support for the Army, Navy, Air Force and Similar Military Formations and For Other Related Matters.’
Rep. Gumi, in his lead debate noted that the budgetary allocation for Nigeria’s Defence has continued to increase by N1 trillion. Yet, not much has been achieved in the area of logistics and welfare of security personnel.
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He says, “since 2015, the Nigeria Defence budget has been over one trillion naira annually. The most recent 2023 budget proposal allocates the highest amount of N2.74 trillion, i.e. 13 per cent of the total budget, to Defence & Security.
Apparently, we are all aware that large forms of military acquisitions have been associated with these huge sums of monies appropriated and released for Defence and Security.
It is true that after the civil war, the major operations of the military especially, have been limited to peacekeeping engagements and in recent times, counter-insurgency in different regions of the country. This has obviously, put immense pressure on military spending in the country to achieve relative peace. The argument, however, is that spending on defence and security has not been commensurate with results obtained.”
Meanwhile, the lawmaker also lamented lack of accountability and transparency in the system but assured that the bill, when passed into law, would take care of all those.
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“The most difficult aspect is accountability in procuring military and security infrastructure and apparatus. Parts of the reforms that may have arisen from the Security Summit put together by this Honourable House some time ago is the imperativeness of an effective, coordinated and responsive system of procuring military equipment where military spending can be done in a transparent and professional manner. Indeed, this is the world’s best practice for nations involved in large military operations like us.
Today, I stand before you to present the proposal to establish the Bureau for Defence Logistics charged with the responsibility of providing logistics, acquisition and technical support for the Army, Navy, Air Force and similar military formations and for connected matters.
The Bill is divided into four parts comprising 16 clauses. It seeks to establish the Bureau for Defence Logistics as a corporate body. The proposed Bureau shall have the objective and function to amongst others, restore and strengthen the readiness and lethality of the armed forces; while also, managing the global supply chain, from raw materials to end users, for the Armed Forces in Nigeria.
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The Bureau shall have a Council to be headed by the Minister responsible for Defence including members from the related military, security, finance and intelligence organisations.
The Council shall have the power to make regulations as in its opinion are necessary or expedient for giving full effect to the provisions of the Bill and for the due administration of its provision. The Bill proposes the appointment of a serving or retired military personnel (not below the rank of a Brigadier-General as the Director-General. He shall be assisted by a pool of civilian and military staff, with expert knowledge in the area of military acquisitions and logistics.
Honourable Colleagues, the Bill is an attempt to establish a world-class organisation that shall have the sole responsibility of managing military procurement and acquisitions in the country. In the United States of America, the establishment of the Defence Logistics Agency after the Vietnam War led to a reduction in the cost of making available logistics to the military in that clime. As such, akin to the American scenario, the proposed law is also designed to reduce the cost of providing logistics for the military when replicated in Nigeria,” the lawmaker explained.
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He also pointed out that the bill will take care of issues of methods of funding, expansion and development of local production of military hardware.
“This move is premeditated on the need to encourage more financing and funding methods, including development and expansion of local production of military hardware. Above all, the Bill seeks to create a professional outfit saddled with the unique mandate of the production, procurement and management of defense and security apparatus as well as logistics for Nigeria,” Rep. Gumi stressed.