Boko Haram: We need N1bn to produce war vehicles – Buratai
The Nigerian Army is sourcing for N1billion to boost capacity of its vehicle manufacturing company to produce more combat vehicles to counter terrorists and other insurgents, the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai has said.
Nigeria has recently been bedeviled by different forms of insurgencies; Boko Haram, kidnapping, armed banditry, armed robbery and cattle rustling. But demonstration of locally made bullet proof ballistic vest, NA Armoured Light Tactical Vehicle and mine sweeper produced by the Nigerian Army Vehicle Manufacturing Company (NAVMC) showed that the military will soon be better equipped to stem the challenge.
Addressing the closing ceremony of the Nigerian Army Combat Arms Training Week on Saturday at the shooting range of Nigerian Army Infantry Corp, Jaji, Buratai noted that Nigerian Army new inventions and acquisitions are force multipliers, hence the fund will improve the equipping and capacity of the Army.
“The innovations by the Nigerian Army in the areas of equipment production, localizing and bringing back vehicles and equipment that are hitherto abandoned, is another major achievement that we recorded.
“You have been promised by the group managing director of NAVMC that in the next three to four months, we should have brand new vehicles originally produced by the Nigerian Army for use in the Army and the general public that may find it useful, especially the paramilitary agencies. This we believe will transform the Nigerian Army and Nigerian industrial companies, when we start mass production.
“We are already sourcing for the sum of N1billion to support the Nigerian Army Vehicle Manufacturing Company. We a have a number of investments in the Army that have been generating huge amount of money and we will take a loan from there to support Nigerian Army Vehicle Manufacturing Company to realize our dream of producing indigenous armoured fighting vehicles and to continue to maintain our existing equipment.
“Military equipment are never obsolete, with maintenance culture of the military globally, vehicles and equipment of the Second World War are still useful in other parts of the world. The firepower demonstration today is the last activity of the combined Combat Arms Training Week (CATWEEK) and the Chief of Army Staff 1st Quarter Conference.
“This Conference has brought us together to assess what we have so far achieved in the the first quarter of 2019,” the COAS added.
The Acting Governor of Kaduna state, Arch. Barnabas Bala Bantex commended the military and the police on their efforts to ensure peace in the state. ‘The Nigerian Army and Police have helped to keep Nigeria and Kaduna safe. They have helped in combating terrorism, armed banditry, kidnapping and other forms of insecurity.”
Bantex, who admitted to enjoying the show of force and display of prototype vehicles and fire power, added that with what he saw, “the Nigerian Army is in better position and capable of containing all forms of threat both from within and outside our territory.”