16 January 2014 by Guy Martin - defenceWeb
The Nigerian government is planning to cut its defence budget after a decade of increases, but security continues to receive the most funding as the Boko Haram insurgency continues and the armed forces continue to expand.
Nigeria’s defence budget will drop from N364.2 billion ($2.3 billion) last year to N340.3 billion ($2.1 billion) in 2014 according to the Nigerian Budget Office – a 6.5% reduction in funding. Furthermore, the proposed budget drops defence from 12.1% of overall government spending to 7.8% between 2013 and 2014, according to IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly.
Under the proposed 2014 budget, the Nigerian Army will receive N132.7 billion ($830 million), the Navy N70.1 billion ($440 million) and the Air Force N73.2 billion ($460 million). Another N64.3 billion ($400 million) will be allocated across the board, including for missions and deployments.
The Nigerian Navy has been allocated N5.2 billion ($32 million) for the two new offshore patrol vessels being procured from China while the Nigerian Army was allocated N100 million ($600 000) for the ongoing production of armoured personnel carriers by the Nigerian Army Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (this almost certainly refers to the locally produced Igirigi). The Nigerian Air Force has been allocated N1.8 billion ($11.2 million) for the acquisition of six Mi-35M attack helicopters. In addition, N1.3 million ($8 000) has been allocated for the reactivation of L-39ZA jet trainers, many of which are grounded.
The Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria (DICON) has been allocated N1.9 billion ($11.9 million) for 2014, including N450 million ($2.8 million) for the installation, procurement and operation of a new 7.62x39 mm ammunition production line as Nigeria seeks to grow its domestic defence industry.
In total, N845 billion ($5.29 billion) was provided for recurrent and service-wide votes for the security sector, including the armed forces (N306 billion/$1.92 billion), police (N286 billion/$1.79 billion), National Security Advisor’s office (N67 billion/$420 million) and paramilitary services. In total, the security cluster received the lion’s share of the national budget, followed by education.
Once approved, the 2014 defence budget will mark the first decrease in defence spending since around 2006, as between 2007 and 2013 Nigerian defence expenditure grew by 20.6%, according to IHS Jane’s, which points out the new budget will result in a 12.7% reduction of spending in real terms.