Despite getting a massive lump of the 2012 budget, the deputy governor of Bayelsa state, John Jonah, has called for increased funding of the armed forces, to be able to deal with the nation’s internal and national security.
Mr Jonah, a retired Rear Admiral with the Nigerian Navy, made the appeal at the National Defence College, Abuja on Monday, where he delivered a lecture on national security, titled: Military Leadership and National Security.
The deputy governor observed that the nation spends just a mere 1 percent of its total GDP on defence.
He argued that contrary to the belief that the military enjoys huge budgetary allocation especially with the huge chuck of N921 billion allocated to security in the 2012 budget, “80 percent of the military budget goes on recurrent expenditure.”
Ethnic and religious violence along with terrorist attacks has compounded the challenges of internal security in the country.
But with the increasing pressure on the military to put an end to the destruction of lives and property, the guest lecturer says national security must override political interest if insecurity in Nigeria will be permanently tackled.
Other security experts at the summit agreed that it is imperative for the armed forces to develop more counter terrorism programmes and a more skillful approach to fighting crime.
The major recommendation from this meeting is the need for a well-articulated national security strategy that will clearly state mechanisms for intelligence gathering and information sharing among security agencies.