•Prioritises training of civilian component
Senator Iroegbu in Abuja
The federal government in a major policy decision is set to overhaul and restructure the Nigerian Armed Forces to better able tackle the emerging security challenges in the country.
The Minister of Defence, Brig-Gen. Muhammad Mansur Dan-Ali (rtd), disclosed this yesterday while receiving the White Paper Committee’s report on the Draft on the Nigeria National Defence Policy 2015.
Dan-Ali noted that despite the myriads of security challenges, especially the emerging threats and increasing sophistication of non-state actors, Nigeria is yet to review the 2006 National Defence Policy, 2006.
According to him, the asymmetric nature of conflicts and global terrorism threatening the sovereignty of nation-states calls for periodic review of the country’s defence policy.
He sad: “The dynamic nature of our global environment and emerging threats to defence and sovereignty of nations require this important document to be reviewed periodically to address these new developments and challenges.
“The NNDP 2006 has not been reviewed even though the nation has undergone transformation in terms of development as well as security challenges. These new developments and challenges in the domestic and global environment have direct impact on national defence and security.”
Speaking further, the minister disclosed that the planned restructuring would involve extensive and sustainable capacity building of civilian staff of the armed forces and security sector in general.
According to him, federal government has prioritised capacity building courses for the defence sector civilian personnel to better equip them to handle responsibilities being demanded by the evolving security challenges.
“In line with the foregoing, my ministry is also undergoing restructuring of our armed forces to reflect the current security challenges confronting our nation.
“The restructuring will be based on building the capacities of senior civilian staff especially those of directorship cadre,” he said.
Dan-Ali explained that the major aim for reviewing the National Defence Policy was to “have a strong defence policy that would enhance people’s participation and the utilisation of all necessary resources for the defence of the country.”
He assured Nigerians of government’s support for the multiple and ongoing military operations across the country, urging the troops to “act responsibly in accordance with the law and to avoid human rights violation.”
Earlier, the Chairman of the Committee, Lt-Gen. Isaac Obiakor, advised the federal government on the urgent implementation of the reviewed NNDP report.
Obiakor said the report was reviewed with a view “to dealing with the contemporary security challenges, production of national defence needs and development.”
He also advised that “a body of experienced technocrats be put in place to drive the implementation of the NNDP.”