John Shiklam in Kaduna
The Nigerian Army yesterday disclosed that it would support its Vehicle Manufacturing Company in Rigachikun, Kaduna State with a sum of N1 billion to boost its operations.
The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai stated this at the end of the combined Chief of Army Staff First Quarter Conference and the Nigerian Army Infantry Corps week which held in Jaji, Kaduna State.
He said the money would be sourced as loan from numerous army investments across the country to support the vehicle plant.
Buratai said supporting the company would enable it stand on a sound footing to meet the dream of the Nigerian Army to be self-reliance in the manufacturing of its military hardwares and safe the nation from scarce foreign exchange.
Buratai said in the next three months, the army should have its new brand of vehicles originally produced by company for the army and members of the armed forces as well as the paramilitary agencies.
He explained that the initiative “will transform the Nigerian Army and subsequently boost Nigeria’s industrial sector. We are sourcing the sum of N1 billion to support the Nigerian Army Vehicle Manufacturing Company (NAVMC).
“We will be taking loan. We have a number of investments in the Nigerian Army that is generating huge amount and we will take the loan from there to support the NAVMC, so that they will be able to stand on a good footing and enable them realize our dream of having an indigenous fighting vehicle and continue to maintain our existing equipments.”
While emphasising on the need maintenance culture, Buratai said the military equipment “are never obsolete, but can be serviced. With the maintenance culture of military globally, vehicles and equipments used in the third world war are still in service in other parts of the world.
“So, there is no gainsaying that if we adopt the same maintenance culture, we will be able to conserve our scarce foreign exchange for our country and to be able to employ more hands to ensure we are locally sufficient in manpower, skill and indeed the equipment that we need to operate.
“The combined Infantry Corps Combat week and the First Qurterly Chief of Army Conference 2019, which was climaxed by fire power demonstration, was to enable the Nigerian Army access its modest achievement in the first quarter of the year.
“From what has been displayed by the Armoured and Infantry Corps, the various repairs, innovation and ensuring that our operational vehicles are serviceable – is a major achievement in the first quarter
“The innovation by the Nigerian Army in areas of equipment productions … bringing back vehicles and equipments hitherto that had been abandoned and resuscitating them are another achievement that the Nigerian Army has recorded.”
In his remarks, Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, who was represented by his deputy, Mr. Barnabas Bala, said the strength of a nation in the defence of its territorial integrity is dependent on its military might.
He charged the Nigerian Army on the need for regular training of its personnel.