President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the Ministry of Defence to produce a plan for the establishment of a modest Military Industrial Complex for the local production of weapons.
The directive, according to the president, has become necessary to meet some of the requirements of the country’s armed forces.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, said in a statement that Buhari gave the directive in Abuja yesterday during the graduation ceremony of the National Defence College.
The presidential aide quoted Buhari as describing Nigeria’s current over-dependence on other countries for critical military equipment and logistics as unacceptable.
“We must evolve viable mechanisms for near-self-sufficiency in military equipment and logistics production complemented only by very advanced foreign technologies.
The Ministry of Defence is being tasked to draw up clear and measurable outlines for development of a modest Military Industrial Complex for Nigeria,” the quoted the president as saying.
“In this regard, it is to liaise with other strategic ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) and industries to re-engineer the Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria (DICON) to meet national military hardware and logistics requirements,” he added.
Buhari said having reviewed the nature and character of the nation’s security threats and challenges, his administration recognised, first and foremost, the external dimensions of these threats and the need for international cooperation and common security mechanisms to tackle them.
He said based on this realisation, his government was convinced that the best approach was to work within the framework of the Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC) in order to mobilise a collective regional effort in the fight against terrorism and insurgency.
The president urged the graduates of the College and officers and men of the armed forces to work harder to win the war against Boko Haram, terrorism and insurgency.
President Buhari said his administration would strive to meet the operational, logistic, training and welfare requirements of the armed forces of Nigeria.
He charged the military to apply a comprehensive strategy and coordinate all elements of national power against terrorism and insurgency, show result oriented leadership at all levels of military command.