Paschal Emeka, Abuja
The House of Representatives has identified the need to establish the actual number of personnel trained and recruited by the Nigerian Army between 2017 and 2021 and its numerical strength.
Raising a motion at the plenary, Hon. Sergius Ose Ogun representing Esan North East of Edo State stated that that Sections 88 (1) and (2) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) empowers the National Assembly to conduct investigations into the activities of any authority executing or administering laws made by the National Assembly.
He noted that Section 1(3) of the Armed Forces Act Cap. A20, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria provides that the Armed Forces (in particular, the Nigerian Army) shall be charged with the defence of the Federal Republic of Nigeria by land and such other duties as the National Assembly may, from time to time, prescribe or direct by an Act.
According to the lawmaker, the Nigerian Army and the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria have been overstretched by the fight against insecurity in some parts of the country, which poses a threat to the peace and unity of Nigeria and disclosed that in a bid to boost its military strength, the Nigerian Army has in the past five years (or more), conducted a series of recruitment exercises for persons desiring to be enlisted into the Nigerian Army
For him, despite several personnel recruitment exercises conducted by the Army and the huge financial resources appropriated by the Federal Government for its equipment, the Nigerian Army ranks 35th in the World Military Strength Index Report for 2022 as released by the Global Fire Power.
The House therefore, resolved to invite the Chief of Army Staff to appear before the Committee on Army and provide details of the total number of personnel trained and recruited by the Nigerian Army in the past five years (2017– 2021) and details of the current numerical strength of the Nigerian Army and mandate the Committee on Army to ensure compliance with this resolution and report back within four weeks for further legislative action.