UK, Nigeria Consolidate Defence Ties, Review Bi-lateral Agreements

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By Kingsley Nwezeh

Nigeria and the United Kingdom (UK) yesterday moved to consolidate defence ties between the two countries in the areas of training intelligence sharing and tactical inputs aimed at containing security challenges in the country.

Minister of Defence, Major General Bashir Magashi (rtd), met yesterday in Abuja with the UK Minister for Armed Forces, Mr. James Heappe, to consolidate defence cooperation and review bi-lateral agreements aimed at expediting efforts to contain insurgency and other security challenges confronting Nigeria.

A statement issued by the Ministry of Defence, said both ministers “reviewed the existing bilateral agreements between the two countries with a view to working out a new framework of action to fast- track actualisation of national aspirations to end insecurity bedeveling the country”.

Magashi said the defence cooperation between the two countries should be taken to a higher pedestal as Nigeria battles terrorism, banditry and kidnapping.

He said Nigerian military had keyed into international best practices in combating violent extremism in the various theatres of operations in the country.

Magashi, who spoke while receiving the UK Defence Minister in his office, said the federal government appreciated the support of the British government in building capacity and capabilities of the nation’s armed forces to be combat ready in dealing with threats by violent extremists.

In his remarks, the British Minister for Armed Forces, Heappe, commended Nigerian government’s efforts in tackling security threats.

The statement said he pledged continued support of the UK government in the areas of training, intelligence sharing as well as technical and tactical inputs to end security threats on land and sea especially in the Gulf of Guinea (GoG) in order to decisively deal with the challenge of piracy