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  • News - North Central - FCT
  • Updated: May 24, 2024

FG contracts 50 firms to produce military weapons locally – Defence Minister, Badaru

FG contracts 50 firms to produce military weapons locally �

Governor Muhammad Badaru

The Federal Government, on Thursday, said that the country was poised to begin local production of military equipment with the recent signing of the Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria Bill by President Bola Tinubu.

The Minister of Defence, Muhammad Badaru, said following the signing of the bill, the Federal Government had been in talks with about 50 local and international firms for local production of firearms in the country.

According to him, already 13 of the firms have begun production of firearms in Nigeria.

Badaru, who said this on Thursday at the Ministerial Sectorial Update in Abuja, added that Nigeria had made significant progress in the fight against terrorism in the last one year under the Tinubu administration.

He said: “With the help of the bill, Nigeria has been discussing with over 50 private companies, both within and abroad, in the area of production of weapons and other military equipment.

“In fact, 13 of them have already started production or are about to start production.”

The minister further revealed that the military in the last one year killed 9,300 insurgents and arrested 7,000 others.

This feat, he said, was made possible by the close synergy among the Service Chiefs under President Tinubu.

According to him, the synergy increased military productivity and translated into laudable achievements in the last one year. He added that the synergy among the Service Chiefs was different from what obtained in the past.

He said: “The Chief of Defence Staff, the Chief of Army Staff, the Chief of Naval Staff and the Chief of Air Staff are working together as against what it used to be. That has led to productivity and efficiency in their operations. In addition to this, we have close collaboration with the office of the National Security Adviser, the police, the NSCDC  and all other security agencies.

“This has translated to tremendous progress in the last one year.  Because of the synergy, we were able to neutralise more than 9,300 bandits and insurgents; about 7,000 were arrested while we rescued 4,641 kidnapped victims in just one year.

“We have also recovered 4,882 assorted weapons and 83,900 assorted ammunition in just one year. Among those that we naturalised were bandits that you hear. We have neutralised not less than 20 bandit leaders the commanders of insurgents and terrorists in just one year."

The minister further said that in an effort by the military to boost oil production in the country, no fewer than 1,437 suspects had been arrested and 363 killed in the last one year.

He noted that as a result of the ongoing operations against oil theft, “most of the illegal refineries are down”.

“In our efforts to improve the production of crude oil in the country, We have been able to arrest 1,437 suspects,  363 neutralised and we have freed 245 held captive in the Niger Delta region. We have destroyed 3,051 dug pits, 1,276 boats and 3,924 storage tanks, among others. So most of the illegal refineries are down. Many vessels have also been arrested", the minister said.

Badaru said the President has been eager to see an end to insecurity in the country.

“The question from Mr president has always been ‘when are you going to end this thing?’. I keep telling him in no distant future we would end it. We have the personnel and the communities are supporting us. We have seen over 100,000 terrorists surrendering to troops, we are still expecting to see more. Those who refuse to surrender, we will fight them hard,” he said.

On why the attacks are still on, the minister said: “The attacks happen around local governments that have forests. These people come out from the forest with motorcycles, attack the people and run back. But we have deployed technology today so that we can see them coming and take care of them before that time. We continue to fight, we will continue to deliver and I can assure you that the successes we have enjoyed in the last one year will be replicated and we will even do more next year.”

Badaru also said the President had approved the recruitment of more personnel into the military to increase its manpower.

He also disclosed that the President has directed the full deployment of technology to end insurgency in the country.

He said: "The President has approved that we should recruit more so that we can have boots on the ground and also deploy technology heavily so that we can end the insurgency.”

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