Minister of Defence, Major General Bashir Magashi (rtd), has said lack of sophisticated modern weapons was impeding Nigeria’s successful fight against terrorism and conduct of other military operations nationwide.
He claimed that some world powers were refusing to sell arms to the most populous black nation.
Magashi, who spoke while commissioning the new office complex of the Defence Research and Intelligence Bureau at the weekend in Abuja, stressed the need for Nigeria to ramp up domestic armament to check dependence on imported arsenal.
His words: “The current threats to Nigeria’s national security have clearly shown the need for the armed forces to be highly innovative and self-reliant in the production of unique military hardware.
“This development calls for self-appraisal, innovation and determination to indigenously produce our military requirements.
“Most armed forces that have attained self-reliance in equipment and platforms were once faced by similar challenges. Therefore, we need to evolve a new concept of Made-in-Nigeria for our military equipment and platforms.”
The minister continued: “The bureau has shown capacity to generate technological solutions of sufficient quantity through collaborative research, such that our forces would be able to confront several operational challenges.
“I am particularly impressed with the progress the bureau has made in many areas within the short period of its existence.”
Earlier, the Chief of Defence Staff, General Gabriel Olonisakin, said the success of modern-day armed forces is measured by their ability to develop and employ unique technologies to efficiently confront exceptional security problems.
“The security challenges that we are confronted with as a nation are unique and therefore, require unique indigenous solutions.
“These indigenous solutions can only be achieved through innovative research and development in partnership with the academia, industries and MDAs,” he stated.
ALSO, Magashi said the COVID-19 pandemic has worsened the crisis, adding that it would take a long time to successfully address the development.
Addressing the passing out parade of 108 cadets of the Direct Short Service Commission Course 27 at the Nigerian Naval College, Onne, Rivers State, the minister noted that the situation was not hopeless.
Represented by Olonisakin, he said President Muhammadu Buhari had ordered more recruitment into the armed forces for better handling of the nation’s security quagmire.