The Federal Government has earmarked N675 billion for procurement of arms and equipment as well as training of 8,000 soldiers to end Boko Haram insurgency and banditry in the northern part of the country.

Chairman of the Senate Committee on Army, Mohammed Ali Ndume, disclosed this at the weekend in Maiduguri, Borno State, while lamenting lack of adequate arms and equipment for Nigerian Army to fight insurgents.

Ndume, who represents Borno South senatorial district, said: “Even today (Sunday), we hear of attacks here and there. I believe that with more commitment, which is now coming from President Muhammadu Buhari’s New Year broadcast, the security situation will improve tremendously by mid-2021.”

In his breakdown of the N675 billion military budget, Ndume said N500 billion is for procurement of arms and ammunition as well as fighting equipment. Operation Lafiya Dole in the Northeast is to get N75 billion for counter-insurgency operations in Sambisa Forest and Lake Chad region.

“The sum of N100 billion is for the ongoing training of 8,000 soldiers in Zaria and Falgore Forest to match with modern warfare against the insurgency.”

According to Ndume, the troops and other special forces on ground don’t have what it takes to execute the war against the terrorists. He noted that the gallant performance of Nigerian troops in Liberia and Sierra Leone was because of their training and resilience.

“The United Nations has been providing the troops with everything, including arms, ammunition and helicopters. Most of the arms and ammunition used by the troops are too old and outdated to match Boko Haram’s weapons,” the senator said.

He claimed that since the inception of democratic governance in the country, no government has implemented the budget up to 70 per cent, except the Buhari administration.

According to him, the last budget was implemented by 90 per cent.

“But, as the President said, it is not enough and there are no excuses from the President. We should speak against the problems of insecurity, recession and corruption. The problem is the disconnect between the people that are supposed to work for the President and get these programmes done,” Ndume said.