Establishing varsities distraction to your core mandate, Senate tells Military


By Tunde Opalana, Haruna Salami

The Nigerian Armed Forces have been admonished to avoid distraction of striving to establish military universities but concentrate on their core mandate of securing the country.

Senate Committee on Defence insisted that establishing universities that has no direct relevance for their core mandate of protecting the territory of Nigeria.

The Committee stated this Thursday at the 2023 budget defence of the Nigerian Defence Academy, Kaduna and other institutions under the Ministry of Defence.

“The time now should be on research and the sciences. Most of the inventions around the world we have seen are from the military. All this inventions of weapons of mass destruction, who are the people manufacturing them? If you trace their history, you will discover that they are linked to military men, DailyTimesNGR gathered.

“Why should we go and open universities where they will read History, Hausa, Geography, etc. What do we need that for? Why must we invest money on that? Leave that to other universities.

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“You should be thinking of universities where we will come out with something good for the country. We have been challenged. Some years ago when they talked of big money coming to the military, people thought it was a waste, but we are seeing the reality today. Right here in Abuja, people don’t sleep with their two eyes closed because they are not sure what will happen tomorrow.

“So, why should we be dwelling on courses that don’t add value to the Armed Forces? We should emphasise what will help the Armed Forces,” said the chairman of the Committee, Senator Aliyu Wammako.

He wondered why would the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) site a Military University in his own town, which he said was “disgusting, irresponsible, uncalled for and an abuse. It is rubbish”.

“We should develop what we already have such as the NDA”, he concluded.

On the other hand, the Senate Committee on Interior has for a second year running failed to critically scrutinize budgets of government agencies particularly para- military organisations under its oversight.

The Committee adopted a ‘take a bow’ method in consideration of the 2023 budget of Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) and other agencies.

It would be recalled the Chairman of the Committee, Senator Kashim Shettima, (Borno Central) had in 2019 cited the COVID-19 and the nationwide lockdown on the inability of the Committee to discourse the budget proposal.

When the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) and the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) were scheduled to appear before the Committee on Thursday to defend their 2023 budgets, Senator Shettima, the All Progressive Congress (APC) Presidential running mate to the APC flagbearer, Bola Ahmed Tinubu for the 2023 general elections again step down the consideration of the 2023 budget proposals of the agencies.

He was obviously torn between his parliamentary duty and the ongoing campaigns.

According to him “in this nation this is the upper parliament of the Federation of Nigeria.

He said, he and his colleagues are “accomplished gentlemen and ladies who not to play to the gallery”.

Apparently referring to the security situation in the country, he said times like this call for retrospection, a lot of maturity and a lot of sober reflection.

“In the light of the above, we are in agreement that they should lay down their budget, take a bow and step aside, so that if we have questions to ask them we will invite the heads of those organisations subsequently for closed door sessions”.

With this, the consideration of the 2023 budget and the assessment of the 2022 budget performance of the agencies was stepped down contrary to the usual session of rigorous scrutiny by the legislature before approval or otherwise.

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Ihesiulo Grace

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