By Simdi Gloria:-
On Monday, the House of Representatives urged President Muhammadu Buhari to earmark and release the sum of N3 billion as a special fund for the local production of ﬁrearms and ammunition to fight the rising wave of terrorism and insecurity in the country.
This, according to the House was to be achieved through the partnership of Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria (DICON) and Kaduna National Metallurgical Development Centre (NMDC).
There was a request for 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 the production within one year.
The parliament also mandated the committee on defence to coordinate the agencies of government involved.
The resolution was sequel to the consideration of a motion of urgent national importance, sponsored by Hon. Abdullahi Ibrahim Halims at the plenary.
Halims noted the ugly trend of terrorism and insecurity was becoming unbearable while moving the motion.
He said: ”That efforts by the government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to import arms and ammunitions from some western countries have 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 ammunition to meet our immediate needs and further drive our local content 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 some time 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 to its efﬁciency. (the cost far less than the imported version).
”There is already an existing memorandum of understanding (MOU) between these two important agencies of government with the view to achieving 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 teeming youths, aid our security agencies to effectively combat crimes and criminality and many other beneﬁts too numerous to mention”.
The overwhelming support of the House was given when the motion was put to a voice vote and was therefore adopted.
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