Insecurity: Reps urge Buhari to release N3bn for local production of firearms
The House of Representatives has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to dedicate and release a special fund 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 and mandated the Committee on Defence to coordinate the agencies of government involved.
These resolutions followed the adoption of a motion of urgent national importance, sponsored by Abdullahi Halims (APC, Kogi) at plenary on Monday.
Presenting the motion, Halims noted that the greatest challenge facing Nigeria today is terrorism and the rising wave of insecurity in the land which has tremendous negative effects on the socio-economic trajectories of the nation.
He said there was the need for the parliament to rise to the occasion through innovative legislative inputs to enable the executive arm of government surmount the daunting challenge.
“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 harnessing 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 content initiative,” Halims said.
”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 being 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 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,” he said.