Funding for Nigeria's Military Research Paper

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[. . .] As The Nation (2017) reports, “A substantial part of the recurrent cost proposal for 2018 is for the payment of salaries and overheads in key ministries providing critical public services such as”—

• N510.87 billion for Interior

• N435.01 billion for Education

• N422.43 billion for Defence

• N269.34 billion for Health

With Defence receiving the third largest amount of recurrent spending—just below that of Education—one can see why it is so controversial that expenditure also be allocated for updating and maintaining equipment: to effectively update the Nigerian military would require a significant and exponential increase in funding. Global Strategy (2018) explains how this impacts the NDP: in terms of the problem for just one area of defence—support for the navy—“the twin problems are those of insufficient funds and untimely releases. Beyond acquisition cost of ships, the reality of maintenance to ensure ship availability must be considered in allocation of funds. Typically, 10 percent of acquisition cost is supposed to be allocated to maintenance annually. This is about N50.4 billion of the estimated cost of Nigerian Navy ships put at N504 billion as at 2007. However, in practice, the funds released for maintenance of ships in the Nigerian Navy is very inadequate.”

11. Eze (2011) notes that Nigeria’s defence policy “is yet to properly articulate how the country will attain the independent capacity for deterrence and its employment as a principle of national defence” (p. 123). Okonkwo (2018) adds that “it is unwise to assume that the existing military infrastructure provides sufficient deterrence against potential aggressors, in the absence of a strong and self-propelled indigenous technological and industrial base.” Eze (2011) focuses on the reason for Nigeria’s insufficient funds as being related to the country’s weak economic infrastructure: “Countries with well built defence capabilities have a well-built economic, industrial and technological base to support the defence infrastructure like the armed forces and arms industries” (p. 123). Nigeria’s “weak and royalty oriented economy” lacks a strong industrial base (Okonkwo, 2018)—which is one thing that Nigeria’s leaders have pointed out in recent months and the main reason the country has refrained from ratifying the recent ECOWAS EPA: “Our industries cannot compete with the more efficient and highly technologically driven industries in Europe. We are not enthusiastic about signing the EPA,” Buhari stated (Giles, 2018). The hope of Buhari is that Nigeria can begin to stand on its own two legs and become an industrial powerhouse like other industrialized, developed nations around the world. The problem is that Nigeria’s military cannot wait for this development: it needs proper funding now. Meanwhile the NDP is woefully inadequate to address the funding challenges. As Uzodinma (2015) has noted, the NDP developed in 2006 is in need of review itself: Nigeria has “undergone a lot of transformation in terms of developments as well as security challenges” since the NDP was first released. As the NDP is supposed to provide guidance on short, medium and long term outlooks, and since Nigeria’s economic condition has improved since 2006 while its security footing has deteriorated, there is a need to re-address the NDP.


12. Global Security (2018) states that “one of the contentious provision of National Defence Policy [NDP] is funding. It is very possible to actualize the provision of the NDP, if the government adequately funds the AFN to transform it to the standard required to achieve the NDP.” The NDP pointed out that defence equipment should be updated so that Nigeria’s military can perform the services expected of them. However, obtaining the funding to update equipment is an issue. Even if a broad range from 1.5% to 3% of GDP were to be recommended based on international figures, Nigeria would still fall far short in its current allocation of funds to defence. In order to provide the kind of funding that defence needs in Nigeria, funds would have to be re-directed from other areas, such as education, health, housing, transportation, agriculture and rural development, industry and investment, and construction of roadways. But all of these areas are essential to the overall development of the country, its strengthening, its sustainability, and its long-term goals. Just as defence is not an end in and of itself but rather a means to an end, which is the stability and security of the nation, roads, infrastructure, health, and education are all important aspects of social development that have to be funded and developed as well. It is a matter therefore of establishing priorities. Should Nigeria attempt to update its society before it has secured its borders or eliminated the threat to the North that is Boko Haram? Or should it focus on diverting funds to defence for the short term so as to neutralize the threat currently facing it and put health, education and roadway development on hold for the present? Answering this question is the main challenge that Nigeria’s leaders must face—though it should be remembered that the nation is nothing if not secure.

13. In order to realistically address the challenges facing defence funding in Nigeria, the country’s leaders first have to recognize the importance and primacy of obtaining security and stability in the region before the country focus on rebuilding and investing in infrastructure. The country requires a stronger military than what it currently has and it requires assistance with securing its borders and neutralizing the threat that is Boko Haram. The Boko Haram threat is to some degree being addressed by Nigeria’s collaboration with The Gambia, which, along with other neighboring states, serves as an entry point for Boko Haram in West Africa (Hadebe, 2017)—but more needs to be done. To what extent can Nigeria realistically cover its defence funding gap in order to bring its defences up to par with other countries according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute’s recommended funding percentage? This question has to be addressed by Nigerian leaders by reviewing the NDP.


14. According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the U.S. military uses models to inform approximately two-thirds of its budget request from Congress (CBO, 2012). The CBO’s graph below indicates the extent to which the U.S. military uses modeling to obtain its funding.

The U.S. uses models for Operating Tempo and Training, which are “models of services’ major training and peacetime deployment activities [that] usually contain a readiness goal for deployable units. Model outputs such as flying hours are multiplied by a projected unit cost” (CBO, 2012, p. 6). Detailed projection models are also used which provide “detailed estimates of demands for products, services, or resources [that] are multiplied by a projected unit cost” (CBO, 2012, p. 6). One example of how a branch of the U.S. military would use a model is the Navy’s Ship Operations model, which is “built on information about the resources used by each ship as it goes through the FRP cycle. The model is used to estimate the cost of preparing ships and training their crews to deploy overseas. Costs include those for fuel, utilities, supplies, equipment, ship administration, and counterterrorism self-defense measures” (CBO, 2012, p. 18). This model can be seen in the graph below.

Comparing Russia’s military defence spending to the U.S.’s, the UK’s and Germany’s reveals the extent to which Russia has pulled ahead of the others. Russia has invested heavily in its defence security by focusing on missiles systems and innovative technology that outpaces what other nations have achieved so far (Cooper, 2016). This can be seen in the chart below, which shows that Russia’s expenditure as a share of GDP now even outpaces that of the U.S.—which is a major reason that Russia’s missile defense and attack capabilities are now considered the world’s best. Russia has placed defence spending as a priority before all else because the country’s leaders (namely Putin) recognize the need to secure the country before revitalizing the country.

The models used by the UK and by Germany are important to consider as well. As Saxi (2017) points out, “at NATO’s 2014 Wales Summit, the UK and Germany unveiled two new initiatives for European defence cooperation, known, respectively, as the Joint Expeditionary Force (JEF) and the Framework Nations Concept (FNC). Both were the result of economic pressures and the need to exercise intra-alliance leadership, but they represented very different approaches to cooperation” (p. 171). These different approaches can be shown in terms of power and authority—as in which state will oversee the implementation of the plan. According to Saxi (2017), “the JEF was to be a UK-led contingency force for short-notice operations, selectively incorporating forces from allies and partners. The FNC sought to coordinate capability development between groups of allies, centred on larger framework nations, to develop coherent capability-clusters available to meet NATO’s force requirements” (p.… [end of preview; READ MORE]

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APA Format

Funding for Nigeria's Military.  (2018, August 14).  Retrieved January 23, 2020, from

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"Funding for Nigeria's Military."  14 August 2018.  Web.  23 January 2020. <>.

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"Funding for Nigeria's Military."  August 14, 2018.  Accessed January 23, 2020.