The Vice President spoke after receiving a presentation, titled: Defense Transformation and National Security: Strategic Options for Nigeria of the Future, by the National Defense College Course 30 participants during a virtual interaction.
Other officials 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.
A statement yesterday in Abuja by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity in the Office of the Vice President, Laolu Akande, said Professor Osinbajo said Nigeria’s current security challenges and emerging threats require the country’s military and other relevant stakeholders to be several steps ahead of terrorists and other criminals.
“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.
“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. I think it is a 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.”
The Vice President, who made a case for improved investment in Defence Industries Corporation (DICON), stressed that “every country of the world takes advantage (in my view) of the crisis situation that it faces”.
He said: “We mentioned India, Brazil, and even the more developed economies of the world. During the First World War, the Second World War, it was these challenges that led to the development of their military-industrial complexes. We have a challenge today; there are so many zones where there are conflicts. Our law enforcement is spread out everywhere.”
Praising the course participants for proposing innovations in the defence sector, Osinbajo emphasized the urgency of the local production of arms.
“If we say the local companies should produce some of the mobile platforms, like Armoured Personnel Carriers (APCs) and Multi-Role Armoured Vehicle (MRAV), if we give them the contracts, they will produce. But if we choose to import rather than produce locally then we will never develop our military-industrial complex.” Continue Reading