– Rear Admiral Samuel Alade has said the Nigerian military is set to manufacture its own weapons
– The National Defence College commandant said steps have been taken to manufacture military hardware
– Admiral Alade has said that DICON has been strengthened to produce arms
The Nigerian army has said that all is in place for the commencement of arms production in Nigeria, this was disclosed by the commandant of National Defence College (NDC), Rear Admiral Samuel Alade.
Nigerian army Alade said that the Nigerian military has begun taking steps towards the manufacture of military hardware. The commandant made the assertion in Abuja on Thursday, July 28, while addressing State House correspondents after he led the Course 24 of the college on a courtesy visit to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo. According to him, the Defence Industry Corporation of Nigeria (DICON) in Kaduna is being strengthened to produce arms while the military industrial complex will produce heavy military equipment. Alade said:
“We have an institution that was established basically to help develop production of hardware. “That is the Defence Industry Corporation, which is located at Kaduna.
“That institution is being strengthened; I believe that in the new dispensation a lot of things will start happening. “As we speak, they produce rifles and some other hardware. “But I can assure you that we have started. “Just recently we had a defence cooperation workshop with South Africa and that workshop was held at the Defence College and that is the beginning. “We want to develop our military industrial complex and within that framework we will be able to manufacture hardware and even the software as well.’’
According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), in August 2015, President Muhammadu Buhari had directed the Ministry of Defence to design a plan for the establishment of a military industrial complex for local production of weapons. He gave the directive at the graduation of Course 23 of the National Defence College in Abuja. Buhari had said that such weapons, when produced, would meet some of the requirements of the country’s armed forces. He had described as unacceptable, Nigeria’s over-dependence on other countries for critical military equipment and logistics. Alade said that the group visited the Vice President to submit some policy proposals to the Federal Government on how to effectively administer the country. He said the proposal emanated from the recent workshop at the college with the topic “Youth Bulge in Nigeria and its implication for National Security’’.
Alade said the presentation was a way of contributing to national development and national security. According to him, the students made some useful suggestions on how to move the country forward especially on youth development. He said the presentation would continue based on the directive of the presidency adding that the college was ready to conduct various researches to engender development. On the battle against insurgency and militancy in the country, Alade expressed gratitude with the military for defeating Boko Haram.
“Obviously, we are winning the war on insurgency; you are aware of what the military is doing in the North East. “Of course we can conveniently say that there is no more Boko Haram; we have defeated them. “When you talk of issue of insecurity in the Niger Delta, you are aware that discussions are on and the military, if called upon, will usually give their assistance to civil authority,’’ he added. In the same vein, the Nigerian army has launched one more training exercise code named “Exercise crocodile smile”.
Reports suggest that soldiers will practice in amphibious and internal security operations in riverine environment. The soldiers are also to check criminal activities like kidnapping, militancy and piracy and other forms of criminal activities. According to a statement released by Colonel Sani Kukasheka Usman
“The Nigerian army will from this weekend commence another training exercise code named “Exercise crocodile smile” in 82 division and part of 2 division areas of responsibility traversing the South-South geo-political region.
The aim of the exercise is to practice our special forces and other units of the Nigerian army in amphibious and internal security operations in riverine environment and also check criminal activities like kidnapping, militancy and piracy and other forms of criminal activities in support of the civil authority. The general public is please requested not to panic on the sight of unusual movement of large number of troops, heavy military weapons and equipment in these areas.