The Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, has expressed the readiness of Nigerian Army to enhance local capacity in providing logistics for its operations.
Buratai said this at the opening of the 21st Nigerian Army Combat Service Support Training Week on Tuesday in Gusau, Zamfara State.
The theme of the trainining is “Developing Local Capacity for Improved Delivery Support of Nigerian Army Operations.”
He said that the army had relied on some local industries for sourcing of its logistics requirements such as vehicles, weapons, uniforms and accoutrements through partnership with a number of local industries.
According to him, the decision is a direct response to the Executive Orders three and five of President Muhammadu Buhari.
He said that the army had partnered with Innosson Motor for both operations and administrative vehicles and Proforce Nigeria Limited for the production of the first made-in-Nigeria Mine Resistant Anti-Ambush Protected Vehicle.
“Other indigenous industries that we have collaborated with include Nigeria Machine Tools Osogbo in the local production of weapon parts.
“We are collaborating with Zaria Textiles for the production of tentages and NILEST and other cottage factories in the various industrial clusters for provision of boots and other sundry logistics items.
“Our uniform materials and accoutrements are now locally sourced from indigenous companies like JoeBest Textiles, Wollen and Synthetic Textile Manufacturing Company and Lodoni Limited.
“We have recently partnered with the Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria at the Central Engineering Depot to manufacture and refurbish operations vehicles,” he said.
Army chief said that the authorities could still expand partnership to several other reputable local industries across the country for many of its requirements.
He urged the participating officers to focus on research and development collaborations that could bring about solutions to some of their operational needs.
According to him, developing local capacity will help conserve scarce foreign exchange for other critical sectors of the economy and support government’s efforts at reducing unemployment, which is a driving factor for security challenges in Nigeria.
He commended Buhari for improving logistics support to the troops and the significant progress recorded in various operations across the country.
Buratai also commended the effort of Gov. Bello Matawalle of Zamfara at tackling the security challenges in the state, saying that the effort had rekindled hope that the end of the security challenge was in sight.
Matawalle commended the army for supporting and cooperating with the state government to achieve successes in its peace initiative towards ending banditry and other security threats in the state.
He said that a lot of successes had been recorded in the last two months, leading to surrender of bandits and rescue of hundreds of victims from captivity.
According to him, repentant bandits have resolved to embark on collective actions against the recalcitrant ones.
He said that his administration was making efforts toward rehabilitation of repentant bandits as well as embarking on creation of Ruga settlements.
Maj.-Gen. Johnson Olawumi, Corps Commander, Nigerian Army Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, explained that the training week, which started in 1998 was organised by four logistics corps of the army.
According to Olawumi, the four logistics corps are the Nigerian Army Corps of Logistics and Transport, Medical Corps, Ordnance Corps and Electrical and Mechanical Engineering Corps.
He said that the objectives of the training week was to provide an avenue where the logistics corps can assess and appraise its performance with a view to optimise its supports to the army in all its professional and combat operations.
He said the event would feature free medical outreach by the medical corp to provide free medical services, drugs, wheel chairs and eye glasses to a number of persons in Tsafe Local Government Area of the state.