Nigeria: Fact Check - How Accurate Are Buhari's Claims On Nigerian Military's Firepower?

Muhammadu Buhari, Nigeria news today
President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria
President Muhammadu Buhari
The President said the fighting power of the Nigerian military increased significantly under his administration.

President Muhammadu Buhari has said the fighting power of Nigeria's military increased significantly under his administration.

He said the country now ranks fourth in Africa as opposed to the seventh position it occupied in 2015 when he was elected president.

According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Mr Buhari stated this at the Nigerian Army Trooping and Presentation of Colours Parade 2023 on Thursday in Abuja.

He said the fighting power of the nation's military was at a low ebb as of May 2015. He said the firepower improved significantly under his administration.

The president also said the military made and continues to make remarkable progress in the fight against insurgents, militants, oil bunkers, kidnappers, and other criminal elements in the country.

Mr Buhari said his administration improved the military's fighting power, training, operations, manpower, remunerations, and medical services.

"These are in addition to maintenance, efficiency, accommodation, and expansion of forces.

"The improvements in these areas have collectively enhanced the army's capacity to effectively carry out its constitutional mandate.

"The fighting power of our army was at a low ebb as of May 2015. Seven years later, its fighting power has increased significantly, making it fourth in ranking among African militaries as against seventh in 2015, NAN reported.

Checking the claims

The Global Fire Power (GFP) is an organisation which ranks every country's military capacities annually based on factors such as the number of serving military members - the naval, and air force and fuel availability for military operations, the number of jet fighters, the defence budget, and logistic flexibility.

In its 2023 ranking, there are a total of 38 countries in Africa whose military powers were reviewed.

The data by the Global Firepower ranking, which was last updated in January 2023 said the Armed Forces of Nigeria has one of the largest combat services in Africa with estimated 215,000 personnel including 80,000 paramilitaries.

Nigeria's land army strength encompasses 177 tanks, 15,748 vehicles, 30 self-propelled artillery, 339 Towered artillery, 37 rocket artillery, and a total aircraft of 144, the breakdown by GFP ranking said.

Also, Nigeria has 25 high-power naval vessels with total naval assets standing at 136 with an estimated budgetary defence allocation of about $3.4 billion.

Thus, the organisation ranked Nigeria's military the fourth most powerful military force in Africa.

The Global Firepower placed Nigeria below Egypt, Algeria, and South Africa, but ranked it above Ethiopia, Angola, Morocco, DR Congo, Tunisia, and Sudan.

Verdict: The president's claim on the country's firepower ranking is accurate.

Another claim made by the president at the event was that the military in 2015 (when he came on board) its fighting power was at a low ebb and its firepower was ranked seventh in Africa.

But the Global Firepower ranked Nigeria fifth position in 2015. Thus, under Mr Buhari's administration, Nigeria's military only rose by a step. The country maintained fourth position in 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022 and 2023.

Verdict: The claim by President Buhari that Nigeria was placed in seventh position in the ranking in 2015 was inaccurate.

While Nigeria is ranked 4th position in the African firepower ranking, globally it was placed at the 36th positions out of the 145 countries considered for the annual global Firepower ranking review in 2023.

Nigeria holds an index score of 05587. A score of 0.0000 is considered perfect. Though Nigeria remains in the fourth position, its index score improved significantly between 2015 to date, Dataphyte reported.

Meanwhile, America, Russia, China, India, the United Kingdom, South Korea, Pakistan, Japan, France and Italy, are the top ten most powerful countries, globally, according to their military ranking.

Source: AllAfrica

Category: World-News
Tag: Muhammadu Buhari Nigeria news today
Written by Omooba Alekuwodo (omoobaalekuwodo)
Published 4/28/2023 10:31:40 PM

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