House: Designating Bandits as Terrorists Will Empower Military to End Insecurity – THISDAY Newspapers
*Expresses worry about spate of banditry
*As TRADOC demands increment in 2022 budgetary appropriation
Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja
The House of Representatives has said designating bandits as terrorists would give security forces more power to deal and curtail the spread of banditry.
Both Chambers of the National Assembly recently passed resolutions where they called on the federal government to designate bandits as terrorists.
House Committee Chairman on Army, Hon. Abdulrazaq Namadas, stated this yesterday, when top military brass from Training and Doctrine Command, Nigerian Army (TRADOC), Minna, Niger State, appeared before the committee to defend its 2022 budget.
“We are worried with the spate of banditry across the country. That’s why we feel that attention should be paid to banditry and also terrorism.
“That was also why the National Assembly decided to pass a resolution urging the President of the Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, to designate bandits as terrorists so that the security forces can have more power to deal with the situation,” he said.
Namdas noted that TRADOC was established in 1981 to formulate training policies, monitoring of training exercises, operations of the Nigerian Army and conducting promotion examinations for officers amongst others.
He, however, stressed that as tasking and important as TRADOC was, it was funded directly by the army headquarters until 2021, when the president approved its status as a budget centre and the National Assembly started appropriating funds for it.
Namdas said it was based on this that the Committee started its oversight functions by visiting TRADOC before any other army formation, adding that the visit of the committee gave them more confidence that TRADOC was doing exactly what it was established to do.
Presenting the budget, TRADOC Commander, Maj-Gen. Steven Olabanji, said in preparing the 2022 budget, TRADOC and the Nigerian Army were expected to commission about 3,885 cadets into the officer’s cadre, enlist about 18,000 recruits as other rank and a further Special Forces Training of about 4,800 amongst those commissioned and other rank cadres.
He said the essence of the Special Forces Training was to further give these personnel some specialised training in the aspect of waterman ship, deep-diver, airborne and leaving off the land.
Olabanji, therefore, requested for the sum of N43.3 billion for 2022 budget appropriation as against N26.2 billion proposed in the budget by the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning.
He also urged the committee to approve the sum of N30.8 billion for TRADOC army personnel emolument as against N25.5 billion in the Appropriation Bill.
“The sum of N44.96 billion should be approved for TRADOC for year 2022 overhead as against N200 million in the Appropriation Bill. The sum of N7.4 billion should be approved for Training and Doctrine Command Nigerian Army for year 2022 Capital as against N544 million in the Appropriation Bill.”
He urged the Committee to approve the total sum of N43.3 bill, which covered the personnel emolument – Trainees/instructors’ allowances, assuring that the Doctrine Command was committed to training mobile, dynamic, fierce, gallant Nigerian youths into the Nigerian Army, who wish to defend the territorial integrity of their fatherland from any external violation and internal disturbances as enshrined in the 1999 Constitution.