Estimated reading time: 8 minute(s)
The House of Representatives yesterday urged the Federal Government to release dedicated/special funds for local production of firearms and ammunitions.
The lawmakers said the local producion would be in partnership or collaboration with Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria (DICON), Kaduna, and National Metallurgical Development Centre (NMDC).
They urged the President to “dedicate and release the N3 billion for the immediate take off of local production of ?rearms and ammunition through this partnership”.
The House also pleaded “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.”
The Green Chamber said the arrangement would create the room for the nation’s security agencies to combat rising cases of terrorism and insecurity across the country.
Sponsor the motion, Abdullahi Halims, said: “The greatest challenge facing our dear country Nigeria today is that of terrorism and the rising wave of (other forms of) insecurity in the land.
“This ugly trend has tremendous negative effects on the socio-economic trajectories of the nation. Therefore, there is need for the parliament to rise to the occasion through innovative legislative inputs, such as this, to enable the Executive arm of government surmount this daunting challenge.”
He said government’s efforts to import arms and ammunitions from some Western countries had 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 ammunitions to meet our immediate needs and further drive our local contents initiative,” Halims said.
He added: “Recall that Dicon in Kaduna, through the local content initiative, produced a military vehicle called Ezeugwu MRAP (mine resistant ambush protected), which was inaugurated by Mr. President sometime ago. And today, it is being deployed in the battle?eld in Borno State with con?rmed ef?cacy. Preference is being given to it by our soldiers, compared to the imported version, due its deficiency.”
Halims said the cost of the locally produced MRAP is far cheaper than its imported version.
According to him, there is already an existing Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the two important agencies of government with the view to achieving this objective.
“Therefore, there is need for this legislative input.”
The House Committee on Defence was mandated to coordinate the government agencies involved in the arms production; the Committee on Legislative Compliance was mandated to ensure compliance.
When Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila called for a voice vote on the motion, it got majority vote.
Estimated reading time: 1 minute(s)
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