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Nigerian Military Seeking Additional Hardware In 2022 Budget

The Nigerian military is seeking to acquire additional hardware including surveillance capable aircraft in the 2022 budget but most of the proposed procurement items are vague.

Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari, on Thursday, Oct. 7, presented the national budget for 2022, which included procurement and upgrade of defence and security capabilities. 

Details of the N16.39 trillion Naira which is directed towards diversifying the economy, investing in critical infrastructure, strengthening security, reducing poverty and minimising regional, economic and social disparities, was revealed in the President’s presentation to a joint session of the National Assembly.

The President said “Defence and internal security will continue to be our top priority.” “We remain firmly committed to the security of life, property and investment nationwide. We will continue to ensure that our gallant men and women in the armed forces, police and paramilitary units are properly equipped, remunerated and well-motivated.”

But the 2022 budget is associated with scanty details and the use of generic terms to describe projects and acquisitions, a trend HumAngle examined in Sept. and its impact on security sector transparency and accountability. 

The Defence Headquarters budget comprised several projects including the purchase of motor vehicles and defence equipment, procurement of military equipment, kits, arms and ammunition while the Army headquarters had generic lines mentioning construction projects, maintenance and procurement. 

Screenshot from the budget section of the Nigerian Air Force

The Navy listed capability needs to fill in the next budget circle ranging from construction and procurements of assets which included a landing ship tank (LST) to enhance sealift capacity and force projection. The Navy in June floated a new LST 100 built at Damen’s shipyard in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Screenshot of a section of the Navy’s budget including the purchase of a landing ship.

The Air Force listed ongoing and new items such as balance payment for periodic depot maintenance of three L-39ZA and one C-130 aircraft.  Others are balance payments for three JF-17 Thunder and targeting pods.  It’s unclear if this acquisition is for a new batch or part of an existing deal that has appeared in recent budgets. 

In May, the Air Force inducted three JF-17 Thunder multiple fighter jets, jointly  manufactured by Chengdu Aircraft Industry Corporation of China and Pakistan Aeronautical Complex of Pakistan.

The Air Force is also replacing an earlier order for an AW139 helicopter with two AW109 Trekker helicopters as well as making part payment for reactivation of two AS332 BI super puma helicopters, and periodic depot maintenance of three l-39ZA jets and three MI helicopters. 

The procurement of two surveillance capable Beechcraft Air 360 aircraft, spares and ground support equipment was listed. This purchase is likely an attrition replacement for the two Beechcraft KingAir B350i lost earlier in the year in February and May. The aircraft were used for transport, intelligence, reconnaissance, and surveillance missions. 

Screenshot from the Nigerian Army budget for 2022.

The defence and security section of the 2022 budget, particularly those related to the military, appears to be a continuation of the supplementary budget approved by the National Assembly and signed by the President in July. The military benefits from auxiliary and mostly opaque funding for hardware procurements. 

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Murtala Abdullahi

Abdullahi Murtala is a researcher and reporter. His expertise is in conflict reporting, climate and environmental justice, and charting the security trends in Nigeria and the Lake Chad region. He founded the Goro Initiative and contributes to dialogues, publications and think-tanks that report on climate change and human security. He tweets via @murtalaibin

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