The Mismatch of Funding Nigeria’s Army and its Effectiveness

After decades of underfunding its military, Nigeria’s defence budget has increased substantially during the past 10 years. Yet the performance of the country’s military remains poor. And the country’s security challenges continue. One measure of this is that the latest data from the Global Terrorism Index (2019) ranked Nigeria as the third-worst nation prone to terrorism with no improvement since 2017. Researchers considered the implications of poor military performance for national security. Nigeria faces three major security threats: the Boko Haram insurgency in the north-east, militancy in the Niger delta and armed banditry. Boko Haram arose in 2002 and carried out its first attack in December 2003, while militancy in Niger Delta started in the mid 1990s. Banditry violence started as a farmer-herder conflict in 2011. Researchers discovered a range of problems militating against the defence or military performance in Nigeria despite large budgetary allocations. These included corruption, unhealthy rivalry among the forces, politics, and late passage of annual budgets. Others included a lack of transparency in military procurement and absence of monitoring and control mechanisms.

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