In a statement released by Olusegun Ayeoyenikan, the Deputy Director in charge of Information in National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI), disclosed that the agency is close to revealing its Made-in-Nigeria military weapons and equipment. On the other hand, the Nigerian Army has shown its support for the agency’s locally produced initiative by taking steps to domesticate the weaponry. This is meant to bolster the defense against insurgency, banditry, terrorism, and other threats to national security.
According to the Deputy Director, in cooperation with the Nigeria Machine Tools (NMT) Osogbo and the Nigerian Army Corps of Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, NASENI has begun manufacturing a 12.7mm AA Gun via reverse engineering. Vehicles designed to transport troops to safety, as well as unmanned aerial vehicles and other small arms, are among the products being manufactured. During a visit to the Chief of Army Staff Lt. Gen. Faruk Yahaya, NASENI Executive Vice Chairman/Chief Executive Engr., Prof. Mohammed Sani Haruna, OFR confirmed the progress made by the agency in response to the President’s orders.
Presidents duties assigned to NASENI aligns with the agency mandate.
NASENI research and development was saddled with the responsibility of guaranteeing proper military weaponry, other technologies, and combat equipment to help the Armed Forces in their struggle against insurgency, banditry, abduction, and the defense of the country’s territorial integrity. Prof. Haruna stated in his remarks that the duties assigned to NASENI by President Muhammadu Buhari align with the agency mandate of enhancing national development and security. This can be achieved through infrastructure development and practical implementation of the Federal Government’s National Science, Technology, and Innovation Policy.
According to the NASENI Executive Vice Chairman, the Agency has begun working with both local manufacturers and research institutions, as well as international OEMs. The goal is to build up the necessary infrastructure and transmit the necessary technologies so that Nigeria can produce its own military weapons and equipment. As the Nigerian Armed Forces would be using the produced of these combined efforts. He added, he had come to meet with the Chief of Army Staff to get some strategic advice on how to implement the President’s order.
NASENI has found possible allies abroad for producing small arms.
He further noted that the agency is anticipating presidential involvement to begin mass production of the weapons for the armed forces. This accomplishment will allow the agency to re-open the Memorandum of Understanding talks on local manufacturing of weapons and MRAPs. He claimed that NASENI has found some possible allies abroad for the creation of small arms and light weapons, UAVs, air boats, MRAPs, APCs, and light aircraft (fixed wing and rotary wing). The Chief of Army Staff responded positively, stating that the Nigerian Army is in support of the NASENI initiative to produce indigenous weapons as it would aid the military and make their operations easier.
Moreover, he said that Nigeria’s military gear and weapons would benefit from increased local manufacture, with orders being readily available in the event of an emergency. Having the ability to manufacture weapons in Nigeria would allow the military to more quickly implement its own objectives by placing orders directly with local firms and dictating the terms under which the weapons would be deployed and placed. This will also help eliminate the misunderstandings over specifications that often arise when working with foreign manufacturers which he described as a concerning issue.
Chief of Army Staff urged NASENI to keep working on its development.
As he has pointed out, Lt. Gen. Yahaya stressed that there are additional advantages and benefits to manufacturing military equipment within a country’s national boundaries, including reducing time and costs for the government. To that end, the Chief of Army Staff has urged NASENI to keep working on its research and development of cutting-edge weaponry, equipment, tools, and supplies that would help the army provide optimum security across the country, allowing for further economic growth.