Nigeria, Uganda, Chad, Mali and Mauritius increased their military expenditure by 3.4 per cent to reach $18.5bn in 2020.

Nigeria’s military expenditure rose by over 29 per cent, Uganda +46 per cent, Chad +31 per cent, Mali +22 and Mauritius +23 per cent, according to new data published by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.

The Federal Government has reportedly spent N198.84bn on the fight against terrorism in the country since 2019.

The Permanent Secretary, Special Duties, in the Ministry of Finance, Aliyu Shinkafi, told the Nigerian Senate last Thursday that N75bn was appropriated and released in 2019, adding that N75bn was appropriated in 2020 but N74.99bn was released.

The FG had also released $1bn to the military for purchase of arms and other hardware to tackle the Boko Haram insurgency.

The SIPRI report said total global military expenditure rose to $1981bn last year, an increase of 2.6 per cent in real terms from 2019.

It said the five biggest spenders in 2020, which together accounted for 62 per cent of global military expenditure, were the United States, China, India, Russia and the United Kingdom. Military spending by China grew for the 26th consecutive year.

The report said, “Military spending across Europe rose by 4.0 per cent in 2020. In addition to China, India ($72.9bn), Japan ($49.1bn), South Korea ($45.7bn) and Australia ($27.5bn) were the largest military spenders in the Asia and Oceania region.

“All four countries increased their military spending between 2019 and 2020 and over the decade 2011–20.

“Military expenditure in sub-Saharan Africa increased by 3.4 per cent in 2020 to reach $18.5bn. The biggest increases in spending were made by Chad (+31 per cent), Mali (+22 per cent), Mauritania (+23 per cent) and Nigeria (+29 per cent), all in the Sahel region, as well as Uganda (+46 per cent).”

SIPRI, an independent resource on global security, further disclosed that military expenditure in South America fell by 2.1 per cent to $43.5bn in 2020.

The decrease, it noted, was largely due to a 3.1 per cent drop in spending by Brazil, the subregion’s largest military spender.