Saturday, August 8

Buhari tasks defence ministry to produce weapons locally

President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday directed the Ministry of Defence to produce a plan for the establishment of a military industrial complex for the local production of weapons for the use of the nation’s armed forces.

According to a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, the President gave the directive at the graduation ceremony of the National Defence College, Abuja.

He said the local production of weapons was meant to end the current over-dependence on other countries for military equipment and logistics.

The statement quoted Buhari as saying, “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.

“In this regard, it is to liaise with other strategic ministries, departments and agencies and industries to re-engineer the Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria to meet national military hardware and logistics requirements.”

Buhari was said to have told the gathering that his administration had reviewed the nature and character of Nigeria’s security threats and challenges.

“We recognised first and foremost, the external dimensions of these threats and the need for international cooperation and common security mechanisms to tackle them,” the President said.

Buhari added that in the light of this realisation, his administration was convinced that the best approach was to work within the framework of the Lake Chad Basin Commission to mobilise a collective regional effort in the fight against insurgency.

He therefore asked personnel of the Armed Forces to work harder to win the war against insurgency in the country.

Buhari said, “We must apply a comprehensive strategy and coordinate all elements of national power against terrorism and insurgency. We must show result-oriented leadership at all levels of military command and set up an optimal organisation to manage and sustain operational performance.”

The President assured Nigerians that the Federal Government would meet the operational, logistic, training and welfare requirements of the Armed Forces.

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