The Minister of Defence, retired Gen. Bashir Magashi, says the Nigeria Armed Forces is overburdened because of inadequate manpower and numerous security challenges confronting the nation.
The Minister stated this on Monday in Abuja at the 25th edition of the President Muhammadu Buhari’, PMB, Scorecard Series organised to showcase the achievements of the government.
Presenting the scorecard of his ministry, Mr Magashi said one of the challenges of his ministry was the excessive demands being made of the military in spite of its inadequate manpower.
“Adequate manpower is paramount for any military forces to perform effectively.
“As at 2022, Nigeria with an estimated population of about 220 million people has a total military strength of about 223,000 personnel.
”This gives a ratio of military personnel to population of approximately 11,000. This is lower than those of Nigeria’s neighbours except Niger (Republic),” he said.
In addressing the challenge, the minister stressed the need to enhance the capacity of the Police and other para- military agencies to enable them discharge their primary responsibility of internal security.
According to the minister, Nigeria also needs consistent recruitment of about 12000 soldiers bi-annually to enhance the capabilities of the military to meet the security challenges of the country.
Mr Magashi also underscored the need for security agencies to work in synergy and shun inter-agency rivalry.
He noted that in the recent past, security agencies in the country always compete to emerge as the masses favourite or the one that are most effective in terms of discharging their responsibilities.