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Buhari Announces Weapons Production Plan


President Muhammadu Buhari (middle) with all the members of Course 23 after their graduation ceremony at the National Defence College in Abuja … yesterday.

President Muhammadu Buhari (middle) with all the members of Course 23 after their graduation ceremony at the National Defence College in Abuja … yesterday.

OSTENSIBLY in an attempt to curb over reliance on arms importation in the fight against insurgency and other crimes, President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the Federal Ministry of Defence to produce an action plan for the establishment of a modest Military Industrial Complex (MIC) for the local production of weapons to meet some of the requirements of the country’s armed forces.

Speaking at the graduation ceremony of the Course 23 of the National Defence College (NDC)) in Abuja, Buhari described as unacceptable, Nigeria’s current over-dependence on other countries for critical military equipment and logistics. “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 MDAs and industries to re-engineer the Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria (DICON) to meet national military hardware and logistics requirements,” the President said.

He told the gathering that his administration had, since its assuming office, 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,” Buhari said. He stressed 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 (LCBC) to mobilise a collective regional effort in the fight against terrorism and insurgency.”

The President urged the graduates and officers and men of the Armed Forces to work harder to win the war against Boko Haram, terrorism and insurgency. “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; we must set up an optimal organisation to manage and sustain operational performance; and we must show confidence and winning mentality,” Buhari added.

The President assured that the Federal Government under his leadership would strive to meet the operational, logistic, training and welfare requirements of the Armed Forces of Nigeria. He also reaffirmed his commitment to ameliorating the hardships of people living in areas most affected by insurgency and terrorism.

“We have the will, resolve and conviction to apply a comprehensive strategy and coordinate all elements of national power against terrorism and insurgency,” he reassured. Buhari said that the National Defence College had fulfilled the vision of its founding fathers by becoming a strategic human capacity-building institution, making credible contributions to Nigeria and other friendly countries. He urged graduates of the College’s Course 23 to resolve to make “a marked difference in your future deployments and contribute your quota to the evolution and implementation of national security, defence and military strategies.”

He added: “You should be the source that lights up the environment wherever you find yourselves”.  During his pulling ceremony to mark his exit from the military, former Chief of Defence Staff, Air Vice Marshal Badeh, identified lack of imported military equipment and hardware as the major problem in the fight against insurgency. But immediate past National Security Adviser (NSA) to former President Goodluck Jonathan, Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd), said the administration acquired sophisticated weapons for the military in the last year of his administration.

He also revealed that western powers frustrated Nigeria’s attempt to buy military weapons from them, as well as sabotaged efforts to purchase from other sources.

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  • olu

    For Nigeria to remain relevant in West African subregion, there is an urgent need for a comprehensive blue print be drawn up by its leadters (civilian and military) on how best to tackle the rising terrorist activities in the sub region. seing that Boko Haram evolved from the country terrorising the sub region. It is high time Nigeria take the driver seat and dislodge the drifters known as Boko Haram. Nigeria cannot afford to seat at the sdeline.

    • Baba Adini

      Olu, you are right, but modern warfare is based on technology, which is as a result of strong education, discipline, honesty, investment in research, and opportunity for growth. You can’t fight terrorism without locking down the city or state that terrorists are operating. Nigerian leaders don’t learn from history. That history, is the Shagari doctrine, which is if a terrorist organization springs up, hit it fast and furious before it becomes imbedded in the society. Even so, Nigerian education is very weak and has no opportunity for scientific discovery. All aspects of our society are inundated with corrupt practices, which have destroyed the fabric of our society to the extent that our leaders can’t even reason or think critically. Our post secondary education system is corrugated with cultism and incessant strikes by professors who cannot defend their certificates. If Buhari wants Nigeria to start manufacturing weapons or even cars and aeroplanes, it has to start from our elementary schools. How many Nigerian primary or secondary schools have libraries or science labs? I don’t know. How many Nigerian elementary schools or secondary schools are given the opportunity to participate in scientific projects? We like to build from top to bottom, instead of bottom up. Only medical assessment, housing demolition, and shower are done from top to bottom. If Buhari wants Nigeria to compete globally, he should vow that all future Nigerians must have basic knowledge of mathematics, chemistry, biology, physics and computer programming, which are the foundation for technological advancement and building block for weapon manufacturing. Today, Iran can flex muscles with the super powers, because it invested heavily in scientific education, which has seen more than half of its educated population obsessed with science and technology. Iranian women are scientists knowledgeable in physics and chemistry. Today Iran capability to make nuclear bomb is not in doubt because they have the knowledge, which can never be taken away from them. Buhari should know that science is power. Look at the Nigerian Law School this year, it tested over 5,000 lawyers. How many engineers or physicists were graduated the same period? Even the Nigerian University Commission should only grant approval to solely technological and science based schools, because Nigeria has too many arts and commercial institutions already.

      • PolyGon2013

        Sensible argument.

      • Chukwu Michael

        That is when the terrorists rose without aid,sponsor or influence from certain inluential quaters. Not when those who would have ordered the total elimination of the terrorists are those who established them. Shagari was honest because he had no hand in their activities. He religeously saw them as a threat to the Nation and the Nation’s sceurity ans safety. He fought them head long because he was an honest and forthright man. Not a cheat who promised making the country ungovernable for a lawful regime just because he failed election. The present terrorists sprang up from the womb of Buhari and certain Northern elders who are infinitely pregnant of born to rule. Those who beleived that it is either them or no other person in the country.

  • Aghomon Tunde

    Thank you Baba, politics and political statement should be limited. FGN should revisit fire arm law of 1948, we trade on foreign double barrel, if the military can produce gun, plus sales of the obsolete Mark four gun once used by the police with the necessary legislation of if you Kill by Gun ,you die by gun, Nigeria will save some money, terrorist armed robbery and kidnapping will think twice. A committee can seat this problem and come up with solution, This for those that has ears .