ABUJA – MEMBERS of the House of Representatives Committee on Airforce, yesterday, raised an alarm that the Nigeria Airforce was grossly underfunded as only N1.8 billion of the N5 billion allocated to it in the 2012 budget had been released at the close of the third quarter.
The Reps had argued that despite the fact that the Airforce maintained all the aircraft in its fleet locally, the Federal Government still released less than half of its annual budget.
Chairman, House Committee on Air Force, Kenneth Archibong, made this disclosure, weekend.
Archibong, however, praised the financial prudence of the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal M.D. Umar, in the running of the Airforce. He explained that the Airforce was currently under-funded to maintain its personnel and equipment, a situation that has prompted the Green Chamber to push for more allocation in the 2013 budget.
He said: “From the spreadsheet we have on budget implementation, the releases are poor but despite the poor releases, what we saw on ground was quite encouraging.
“The envelope (Airforce budget) is about N5 billion and what they had as at the third quarter was N1.8 billion. We are hoping that at the next release, the Federal Government will do more because time is of essence and these equipment are very technical and have to be maintained.”