Osinbajo: We need to step up local production of military weapons to fight terrorism

By Our Correspondent

Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo says Nigeria’s current security challenges and emerging threats require the military and other stakeholders to be steps ahead of perpetrators.

According to a statement on Thursday by Laolu Akande, spokesman to the vice-president, Osinbajo said this following a presentation by the National Defence College course 30 participants.

The presentation, done on Wednesday, was titled, ‘Defence Transformation and National Security: Strategic Options for Nigeria of the Future’.

According to Osinbajo, who attended the event virtually, the challenges Nigeria is facing show that the country needs to improve on local production of military equipment.

“It is clear that given current realities in our security situation, there is absolutely every need for us to fast-forward all our plans for the future so that we can be much more effective in dealing with the current threats, and the threats that we will experience as we go into the future,” Osinbajo was quoted as saying.

“One of the most critical areas is the question of local production of military hardware and I think it is a low-hanging fruit when it comes to manufacturing some of the hardware that we will need.

“I think that there is a need, especially now, to really look very closely at local production of our hardware, beginning with armament.

“If we say the local companies should produce some of the mobile platforms like armoured personnel carriers (APCs) and multi-role armoured vehicle (MRAV), if we give them the contracts, they will produce.

“But if we choose to import rather than produce locally, then we will never develop our military-industrial complex.”

The vice-president also called for improved investment in the Defence Industries Corporation (DICON), adding that countries takes advantage of the crisis situations they face.

“We mentioned India, Brazil, and even the more developed economies of the world. During the first world war, the second world war, it was these challenges that led to the development of their military-industrial complexes,” he added.

“We have a challenge today. There are so many zones where there are conflicts. Our law enforcement is spread out everywhere.”

The vice-president also spoke about the need for transparency in the management of resources for the acquisition of hardware for security agencies.

“There needs to be more accountability because every time you hear about ‘we not having enough equipment’, but there must be accountability,” he said.

“I will like to see a framework for greater accountability within the ministry of defence that ensures that they are able to account for military expenditure.”

Making a presentation on behalf of the course 30 participants, A. Adamu, a colonel, proposed the restructuring of the ministry of defence to contain emerging threats.

He also highlighted enhancing Nigeria’s defence production capacity, leveraging technology, and improving collaboration within and across Africa as determining factors for the effective transformation of Nigeria’s defence and security sector.

Other officials present at the event included Ibrahim Gambari, chief of staff to the president; Awwal Gambo, chief of naval staff; and Murtala Bashir, commandant of the National Defence College.

Post a Comment