By Udora Orizu
The House of Representatives yesterday urged President Muhammadu Buhari to dedicate and release a special fund, in the sum of N3 billion for the immediate take-off of local production of ﬁrearms and ammunition, through the partnership of Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria (DICON) and Kaduna National Metallurgical Development Centre (NMDC), to combat the rising wave of terrorism and insecurity in the country.
The House also requested that a special team of professionals from the two agencies of government involved in the proposed partnership be set up for the immediate take-off of the pilot project with the mandate to start production within one year.
It also mandated the committee on defence to coordinate the agencies of government involved.
The resolutions followed the adoption of a motion of urgent national importance, sponsored by Hon. Abdullahi Ibrahim Halims.
Moving the motion, Halims noted that the greatest challenge facing Nigeria, today is terrorism and the rising wave of insecurity in the land.
This ugly trend, he said, has tremendous negative effects on the socio-economic trajectories of the nation, hence the need for the parliament to rise to the occasion through innovative legislative inputs such as this to enable the executive arm of government surmount this daunting challenge.
The lawmaker said, ‘’That efforts by the government of the Federal
Republic of Nigeria to import arms and ammunitions from some western countries has met brick walls. To me this is a clarion call for us to look inwards with the view to harness our abundant human and material resources to commence full local production of arms and ammunitions to meet our immediate needs and further drive our local contents initiative.
‘’Dicon Kaduna through the local content initiative produced a military vehicle called Ezeugwu MRAP (mine resistance ambush protected) which was commissioned by Mr President sometime ago. And today it is been deployed in the battleﬁeld in Borno state with conﬁrmed efﬁcacy and preference is been given to it by our soldiers compared to the imported version due it’s efﬁciency. (the cost far less than the imported version).
‘’There is already an existing memorandum of understanding (MOU) between this two important agencies of government with the view to achieve this objective. Therefore, the need for this legislative input. The beneﬁts accruable to our country through this initiative will be enormous and indeed unquantiﬁable. Among which are – boost research and promote self-reliance in the local production of armory, weapons and other military equipment, conservation of foreign exchange, wealth creation and employment Opportunities for our teaming youths, aid our security agencies to effectively combat crimes and criminality and many other beneﬁts too numerous to mention.’’