A Professor of Public Finance, Bingham University, Prof. John Aiyedogbon, says there is need for military to be well funded to be combat-ready at any time there is a threat to national security.
Aiyedogbon made this known in Nasarawa on Thursday at the 5th Inaugural Lecture of the university.
The don, who spoke on the topic “Defence Expenditure and Insecurity in Nigeria: Implications for Macroeconomic Indicators’’, said the budget allocation to the sector was inadequate.
He said lack of adequate budgetary allocation to the sector was the reason for the major cause of unemployment and poverty in the country.
According to him, the welfare of the citizens should be ranked first among the responsibility of government and also the allocation of military should be increased to have relevant security.
“My research work on military spending has focused on revealing on the need for the military to be well funded to combat insecurity.
“Essentially, poverty begets insecurity and lack of economic prospects for young people fosters the development of terrorism.
“More investment is desperately required to enhance young people’s access to education, particularly in northern Nigeria,” he said.
Aiyedogbon also appealed to the Federal Government to as a matter of urgency follow up proceedings leading to the procurement of military hard-wares across the several military formations.
He said that the distribution of such should be monitored to ensure delivery and active usage for purposes it was meant for.
He said that competent and experienced security chiefs, free of nepotism and hedonistic behaviour should be given command of the armed forces.
“Competency, experience, expertise, international exposure in terms of participation in peace support operations and strength should be paramount parameters to their selection.
“Government at all levels should accommodate a zero-tolerance for religious bigotry, tribalism and ethnocentrism.
“Adequate training of military personnel within and outside the country on counter-terrorism should be a continuous exercise that must be sustained,” he added.
The don, however, lamented the spate of insecurity leading to the kidnapping of high number of students in the secondary schools and tertiary institutions in the recent times.
He said that as the government was trying to check the spate of insecurity, it should also focus on eliminating corruption associated with insecurity in the country.
According to him, corruption is a hindrance to effective utilisation of funds allocated to combat insecurity.
Aiyedogbon said that increase in defence spending would not translate to reduction in terrorism activities if corruption was not checked.
He noted that insecurity had led to the trend of macroeconomic indicators such as inflation rate, exchange rate and interest rate which had negative impact of the economy.
He said all sector had been affected by insecurity except Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and called on the government to take drastic steps that would lead the country out of these trends.
He, therefore, called for good government and leadership with complete commitment to the country’s welfare and security, saying that both the citizens, governments at all levels and international communities had diverse roles to play. (NAN)