The Senate on Wednesday decried the inadequate appropriation of funds to the Nigerian Navy.
The Chairman, Senate Committee on Navy, Sen. Isa Misau, made the assertion when the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Adm. Ibot-Ete Ekwe Ibas, appeared before the committee to defend the 2017 budget proposal of Navy.
Misau described as grossly inadequate, the funds appropriated to the Navy in view of its critical role in tackling the nation’s security challenges.
He, however, commended the Navy for its “recorded successes in recent times, particularly in the areas of recoveries and arrest of vandals, among others.
The committee chairman also decried the level of decay of naval facilities across the country.
He said that a lot needed to be done in the critical areas to enhance the Navy’s performance.
Misau, while decrying its poor funding in the 2016 budget, urged the Navy to blow its own trumpet by making its achievements public to attract better funding.
He assured the Navy authorities that his committee would look into its 2017 budget with the aim of appropriating additional funds, especially in the overhead and capital costs.
Ibas, presenting the Navy’s 2016 budget performance before the committee, said that the Navy had recorded remarkable successes in its operations.
According to him, the successes include seizure of 22 ships and about 810,755 metric tonnes of illegally refined diesel.
Ibas said, “the Navy also seized 33 wooden boats, 35 speed boats, 27 tanker trucks and seven vehicles.
“Other successes include discovery and closure of illegal refineries across the country, seizure of 27 generating sets as well as arms and ammunition, while about 784 suspects were arrested by the Navy.’’
Ibas, therefore, appealed to the National Assembly to review the proposed budget upward in order to enhance its operations.
He said that N26.4 billion was appropriated to the Navy in the 2017 budget proposal, which according to him, was grossly inadequate.
“The Navy submitted an estimate of N317.6 billion to the Budget Office, it was reviewed downward to N26.4 billion,’’ the Naval chief said.
He told the committee that among other ongoing priority projects, the service required about N5.26 billion for fleet renewal, facilitation of payment for construction of land ship ports, maintenance of existing ones and construction of jetties.