House to Probe FG’s Arms Purchase in Last 10 Years

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Udora Orizu in Abuja

The House of Representatives yesterday resolved to look into the quality and quantity of arms and ammunition purchased for security agencies in the country for the last 10 years, with a clear inquest into the relevant tools and equipment, as to whether any evidence of existence or not.

The House announced the probe at the inauguration of an ad-hoc committee mandated to review the purchase, use and control of arms, ammunition and related hardware by the military, paramilitary and other law enforcement agencies.

Recall that the House had on December 8, 2020, through a motion, resolved to mandate the committee to carry out the findings.

The Chairman of the Committee, Hon. Olaide Akinremi, in his opening remarks, claimed that Nigeria spent an estimated sum of $47.387 million in arms importation in 2019.

Akinremi said there was the need for efficiency in the management of the economy of all nations, and the procurement for which arms and ammunition form a substantial proportion amount to 12 percent of global GDP in 2018.

He said: “The motion is pursuant to the National Assembly power of oversight in line with the provisions of Section 4, 58, 59, 88 and 100 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, as amended. The inaugural meeting is primarily set to create an awareness of the originating definition of the substantive fundamental principle of the hearing.

“Therefore the committee has commenced it the legislative process of evidence gathering towards accomplishing this legislative assignment. It is to through evidence gathered that the committee would be able to deliver on this all-important national assignment that will guarantee security, economic growth, and national development.

“As the way forward, the committee shall require your utmost, timely and kind cooperation for the purpose of completeness. It shall be mandatory for chief executives and heads of concerned institutions to attend to all inquiries, written or oral, and physically present at all sessions of the committee hearings, such that will assist our work and form the basis for our subsequent interactions with you.”