The Federal Government of Nigeria has given consent to the procurement of a surveillance aircraft worth the sum of N3.4 billion for the use of the nation’s Customs Service. This information was disclosed on Wednesday by Clem Agba, the Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, while he was addressing the media following the conclusion of the weekly meeting of the Federal Executive Council (FEC), which was presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.
According to him, the Ministry of Finance, Budget, and National Planning presented multiple memos for which clearances were obtained. The first one was for the awarding of a contract for the procurement of a Cessna Caravan aircraft by the Nigerian Customs in the amount of N3,447,442,710 inclusive of 7.5 percent Value Added Tax (VAT) with a delivery period of 12 months. He emphasized that the aircraft will be of great aid in the process of conducting air surveillance.
New aircrafts will aid collection of useful intelligence.
This additional new aircraft to the Customs Service’s fleet would help in the fight against and eradicating smuggling activities and the collection of useful intelligence. Agba went on to elaborate by saying that the goal is to aid with border security by conducting aircraft patrols and inspections. He also revealed that an additional N45.9 billion was granted to cover the overrun on contracts for the development of the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation’s (NDIC) Abuja and Lagos headquarters and its Lagos training institute.
The total augmentation amount is N45, 937, 319, 279.44. There are another three projects involved; the first is the NDIC Head Office Annex project in Abuja, followed by the Lagos Office project and the Lagos Training Centre project in Lekki-Lagos.” Dr. Chris Ngige, Minister of Labour and Employment, informed journalists that the FEC has also authorized phase two of the electronic Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (e-NSITF), which will allow concessionaires to update the infrastructure for N15 billion.
Procuring contemporary equipment will boost military operations.
Conversely, the federal government has recently made ongoing progress in upgrading the country’s security system, notably by procuring contemporary equipment and instruments that will facilitate and boost military operations. Recent successful operations against insurgents were also bolstered by significant acquisitions of military gears and platforms in recent years. These thorough and methodical acquisitions are not only unparalleled in recent years, but they also accord with the government’s undertaking to protect and improve our country’s security system.
Other recent procurement recorded by the government in the military arm is the acquisition of 12 AH-1Z Cobra attack helicopters and other related equipment being acquired from the United States for the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) worth $997 Million. Among the related equipment are Bell-made Cobras, 28 T700-401C engines (24 installed, 4 spares), 2,000 Advanced Precision Kill Weapon Systems used to convert unguided missiles into precision-guided missiles, a 20-millimetre M197 machine gun, a Night Vision Cueing Display, etc.
Analysts claim insecurity persists despite spending billions of naira.
Nigeria’s defense budget has ballooned in recent years, ranging into trillions of naira since May 2015, when President Muhammadu Buhari assumed position, in an effort to combat the myriad and ever-increasing security concerns facing the country. Despite spending billions of naira on cutting-edge military systems, security analysts and reports claim that it doesn’t seem to have made any difference in the country’s security situation as the country is still being ravaged by terrorist activities and insurgency.