The Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai has revealed that the Nigerian Army is sourcing for N1 billion to support indigenous production of equipment and armoured fighting vehicles in the country.
He stated that the monies which will be sourced internally and externally will support the Nigerian Army Vehicle Manufacturing Company (NAVMC) to meet up with the four months target of producing brand new vehicles which will benefit the Army and the general public.
The Army boss explained during the Chief of Army Staff First Quarter Conference and CAT Week 2019, in Camp Kabala Range Jaji Kaduna State, that such achievement will transform the Nigerian automotive industry when the Army begins mass production.
“As 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 organisations.
“This, we believe, will transform the Nigerian Army and Nigerian industrial companies when we start mass production.
“We are already sourcing the sum of N1 billion to support the Nigerian Army Vehicle Manufacturing Company,” he revealed.
Buratai also explained that “We a have a number of investments in the Army that have been generating huge amounts 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.”
He urged personnel to adopt the maintenance culture displayed by global military bodies, who still boast of functional equipment used during World War II.
“Military equipment is never obsolete, with the maintenance culture of the military globally, vehicles and equipment of the Second World War are still serviceable in other parts of the world. If we adopt the same maintenance culture, we will be able to conserve scarce foreign exchange for our country.”
Meanwhile, Special Guest of Honour, Deputy Governor of Kaduna State, Barnabas Bala Bantes expressed optimism that the efforts by the Army for self-sufficiency will help end the importation of military hardware used in the country.
“I am impressed at the prototypes displayed by the NAVMC which shows that the Nigerian Army has really come of age.
“With a sustained commitment in these efforts by the Chief of Army Staff, we can look forward to self-sufficiency in meeting with our needs as against depending entirely from the importation of this military hardware which will ordinarily cost the country many times more when the company fully takes off.”
He commended the Army and other security agencies for keeping Kaduna state safe and secure.
“The rise in security challenges across the country has made it imperative for the Nigerian Army to come to the aid of civil authorities. The Nigerian Army and indeed other security agencies have made tremendous efforts in keeping Kaduna state safe and secure.
“The Nigerian Army is in the forefront in combatting terrorism, kidnapping, economic sabotage and other civil disturbances in different parts of the country.”