Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has said the Nigerian government needs to take steps that will put them ahead of terrorists and bandits wreaking havoc across the country.
He said the nation’s current security challenges and emerging threats require the military and other relevant stakeholders to be on the alert while also stepping up local production of armaments.
This was one of the highlights of Osinbajo’s response after receiving a presentation on “Defence Transformation and National Security: Strategic Options for Nigeria of the Future”, by the National Defence College Course 30 participants, late Wednesday during a virtual interaction.
“If you look at the challenges that we are facing and the nature of those challenges, it is evident that we need to be many steps ahead of non-state actors in particular who are perpetrators of this asymmetric warfare that we are experiencing,” the Vice President was quoted as saying in a statement issued on Thursday by his spokesman, Laolu Akande.
“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.
“One of the most critical areas is the question of local production of military hardware and I think it is 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.”
While making a case for improved investment in Defence Industries Corporation (DICON), the Vice President is of the opinion that every country in the world takes advantage of the crisis situation that it faces.
Commending the course participants for their efforts in proposing innovations in the defence sector, Prof. Osinbajo emphasized the urgency of the local production of arms.
The Vice President also spoke about the need for transparency in the management of resources meant for the acquisition of hardware for the defence and security agencies.
Other officials present at the event included the Chief of Staff to the President, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari; Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Awwal Gambo; the Commandant of the National Defence College, Rear Adm. Murtala Bashir, and representative of the Inspector General of Police, among other senior officers from the college.
Research report presentation by course participants to the Vice President is a prominent feature in the annual academic calendar of the National Defence College. Every year since 2016, participants of the college have presented reports of research conducted in key areas to the Vice President.
In 2019, Course 27 participants presented a paper on “Water Resource Management and Regional Security: Lake Chad in perspective”; in 2020, Course 28 presented a paper on “Border Management & National Development, in Nigeria: The ECOWAS Protocol Relating to Free Movement of Persons, Residence & Establishment in Perspective”, while Course 29’s paper, in 2021 was titled “Creating Jobs & Opportunities for Africa’s Largest Youth Population”.
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