The Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, has urged the House Committee on Air Force to allocate more funds to cater for the running of newly established units of the force.
Abubakar made the plea while presenting the 2020 Budget performance and defending the 2021 Budget before the committee in Abuja.
The chief said in spite of the expansion in the force with the creation of 11 new units, not much had changed in the overhead allocation.
He said the force established additional 11 units in Benue, Taraba, Damaturu, Plateau, Osun and Kaduna among others.
According to Abubakar, the running cost of all these units is weighing heavily on the Air Force and thus solicited for increase in the overhead.
“In terms of personnel, the Air Force has about 11,000 personnel and right now, we are recruiting another 1,000 and it is huge if you look at the infrastructure, if you look at the aircraft we have acquired, we are expecting 17 more.” He said.
“In addition to that, we are hoping to get three Special Mission aircraft under the Deep Blue project under the Federal Ministry of Transport.
“We expecting eight UABs from China. So with all these, the number of personnel will increase and the expansion of the units, the overhead is grossly inadequate.”
Speaking on the budget performance, Abubakar said for the 2020 budget, the sum of N136.4 billion was appropriated for operations of NAF.
Abubakar said of the N106 billion allocated for personnel emoluments, N83 per cent had been released to the force. The chief said N8.8 billion was earmarked for overhead expenditures and 65 per cent had been released.
He said N26.9 billion was allocated for capital expenditure and that 97 per cent had been released. On the 2021 Budget, Abubakar said N142 billion had been proposed for the 2021 operations of the agency. He said N101.2 billion is for personnel emoluments, N8.8 billion for overhead cost and N39 million is for capital expenditures.