A former Director of Defence Information at the Defence Headquarters, Maj. Gen Chris Olukolade (retd.), has said each alpha jet consumes a minimum of N200,000 worth of fuel on each trip no matter how short the distance is.
He noted that several such trips could take place daily by different alpha jets and helicopters.
Olukolade further stated that it costs about N40,000 to fuel each armour tank per patrol.
The former defence spokesman said this at the maiden lecture of ‘Support Our Troops’, a non-governmental organisation dedicated to drawing attention to the plight of soldiers fighting insurgency in the country, especially in North-East Nigeria.
Speaking on the theme, ‘Improving National Security Through the Involvement of Citizens in Military Affairs’, Olukolade said members of the public must understand that it takes support, sacrifice and spending a lot of money to win a war against insurgency.
He stated, “I attended a seminar in Abeokuta and they were discussing the economy and the way the military spends and how wasteful the military is. Then I tried to do an illustration of why war is costly.
“For instance, when an alpha jet takes off from one base to another and returns, just calculate the fuel that goes into that mission. It cannot be anything less than N200, 000 no matter how short the distance is. And several of those patrols take place daily.
“Also, count the number of days they have been on mission. There are also helicopters doing missions daily. When an armoured tank just drives around on a patrol and returns to base, you cannot spend less than N30,000 to N40,000 and it is not just one that is involved in daily missions.”
Olukolade said the money spent on feeding troops as well as other activities cost a lot of money.
He, therefore, stated that there was a need for Nigerians to appreciate the work of the military.
Also speaking, the representative of the Chief of Naval Staff, Rear Admiral Jatau Luka, urged the media to promote the military in its reportage as men in uniform need to be encouraged.
Luka said the media must not be seen to be promoting the ‘exploits’ of terrorists as this could demoralise the men on the battlefield.
The Founder of SOT, Mrs Funmi Ogbue, in her remarks, said the foundation had donated thousands of books and computers to the children of military men.
Ogbue further stated that military widows had been given support through the donation of sewing machines, gas cylinders, hair dryers and millions of naira.