Ministry Of Defence Lists Achievements To Mark Second Year Of Buhari Administration
1. The Ministry of Defence is one of the most important and strategic ministries of the Federal Government of Nigeria. It is responsible for implementing defence policy, the defence of the territorial integrity of the country, its interest, and wellbeing of the citizenry as well as strengthening international peace and stability. Since the inception of this administration, the Armed Forces of Nigeria has continued to play its statutory roles and made some remarkable achievements especially, the successes recorded in the fight against insecurity, insurgency and terrorism in the country through the political commitment and support of President Muhammadu Buhari to the Armed Forces. These achievements are briefly discussed in subsequent paragraphs.
REFORMS OF THE ARMED FORCES
2. Several reforms have taken place in the Armed Forces since Mr President assumed office in May 2015. Some of the reforms are as follows:
a. Evaluation of the current ORBAT of the Armed Forces of Nigeria and proposals/projections for the future based on existing and likely threats have necessitated increased recruitment and enlistment into the Armed Forces of Nigeria in the 2016 Fiscal Year.
b. The inability of the Joint Task Force “Operation PULO SHIELD” to react appropriately to meet emerging threats in the Niger Delta Region necessitated the dismantling of the Operation and replaced with a new IS Operation, “Operation DELTA SAFE”.
c. Takeover by the Nigerian Air Force of the 2 x AW 101 Helicopter in the inventory of the Presidential Air Fleet as well as 3 EC-135 and 3 Dauphin helicopters transferred from the NNPC for deployment in the ground attack role in support of Operation LAFIYA DOLE in the North East.
d. Commencement of Phase 2 of the rotation of troops who have stayed over 2 years in Operation LAFIYA DOLE as part of the present administration’s commitment to the welfare of troops.
OPERATION LAFIYA DOLE IN THE NORTH EAST
3. The Armed Forces of Nigeria has made remarkable success in the
on-going fight against the Boko Haram Insurgency in the North East. This was made possible through the following:
a. Degrading the Capacity of Boko Haram Insurgency in the North East.
(1) The Armed Forces has been able to decimate and degrade the insurgents’ capacity and liberated areas which were previously controlled by the insurgents.
(2) Also, the military has been able to dislodge the insurgents from Sambisa forest and captured the infamous ‘CAMP ZERO’ at the heart of Sambisa forest.
(3) Several high profiles Boko Haram commanders have been arrested and over 12,000 persons held hostage by the terrorists have been rescued including the release of some of the abducted Chibok girls which is currently being celebrated.
b. Increased Capacity for the Armed Forces. The Armed Forces has instituted measures to increase its capacity. These include:
(1) Major innovative strategy in the overall security architecture of the nation which involves the reorganisation of the Armed Forces through the new Order of Battle which will ensure sufficient number of personnel and equipment to handle current and future security challenges.
(2) The establishment of Theatre Command in Operation LAFIYA DOLE has led to unity of command and control which supports the counter insurgency operation in the North East.
(3) Training of Special Forces and troops in counter- terrorism.
(4) Increased recruitments and enlistments to increase manpower in the Armed Forces.
(5) Establishment of a naval outpost in the Lake Chad Basin.
c. Establishment of 8 Task Force Division.
(1) The 8 Task Force Division in Monguno was established to further strengthened military presence in the North East.
(2) The creation of the new Division has greatly helped in command and control in the theatre of operation.
d. Conduct of Nigerian Army Small Arms Championship (NASAC) 2017. Sequel to the capture of “Camp Zero” in the Sambisa forest, the Nigerian Army conducted Small Arms Championship
from 26 – 31 March 2017 at Sambisa Forest in Borno State. The military exercise was conducted as parts of measures to enable the Armed Forces dominate the area and avoid regrouping by the terrorists.
e. Conduct of Counter Terrorism Exercise. The Nigerian Air Force simulated a counter terrorist exercise code named “EXERCISE STEEL DOME” at the Nnamdi Azikwe Airport, Abuja and Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos. This was aimed at putting in place counter terrorism mechanism against possible terrorist attacks on strategic assets.
OPERATION SHARAN DAJI IN THE NORTH WEST
4. The Armed Forces in conjunction with other security agencies have been able to curb the menace of cattle rustling in the North West zone of the country. In line with this, the Nigerian Army launched operation HARBIN KUNAMA in Dansadau forest, Zamfara State aimed at flushing out armed bandits and cattle rustlers who have been terrorising farming and herding communities in the State. Several arrests were made, many rustlers camps destroyed and a large number of livestock recovered in Zamfara, Katsina and Kaduna States. Efforts of peace talks to put an end to cattle rustling and armed banditry in various communities in Zamfara and Katsina states has successfully resulted in the handover of various weapons to troops in the states.
OPERATION SAFE HAVEN IN THE NORTH CENTRAL
5. The Armed Forces in conjunction with other security agencies have been able to reduce to barest minimum the incessant clashes between Fulani herdsmen and farmers in Plateau, Nasarawa and Benue states. A number of arms and ammunitions were recovered in the course of this operation. To further curtail criminal activities and communal clashes in Plateau State, the Army Headquarters has been directed to establish FOB in Langtang Jos in line with its new Order of Battle to support the Artillery Battalion and Nigerian Air Force Regiment at Shendam and Mangu respectively.
OPERATION DELTA SAFE IN THE SOUTH SOUTH
6. The inability of the Joint Task Force “Operation PULO SHIELD” to react appropriately to meet emerging threats in the Niger Delta Region has necessitated the dismantling of the Operation and replaced with a new IS Operation, “Operation DELTA SAFE”. It is noteworthy to state that the introduction of the new IS Operation has helped to checkmate pipeline vandalism and militancy in the Niger Delta. The Intelligence Fusion Centre has been activated to support the operation. Also, the Nigerian Army conducted exercise CROCODILE SMILE to curtail the menace of miscreants, criminal elements and militant activities in the region. A number of arrests of suspected members of the Niger Delta Avengers and other militant groups were made and destruction of illegal refineries carried out. Furthermore, the Nigerian Navy carried out Exercise OBANGAME aimed at securing and protecting the Gulf of Guinea. The exercise had participants from USA, France, Belgium, Italy, Spain, Cameroun, Gabon, Ghana, Congo, Sao Tome and Principle, Togo and Benin Republic.
A dedicated NN operation code named “Operation TsareTeku” was set up to curb incidence of piracy, armed attack on shipping, which was flagged off in July, 2016 with remarkable success in curbing illegal activities.
OPERATION AWATSE IN THE SOUTH WEST
7. Operation AWATSE is a joint operation involving the Armed Forces and the Police aimed at flushing out all manners of criminals including militants and saboteurs in South West region especially in the riverine areas of Ogun and Lagos States. The Nigerian Air Force recently conducted air bombardment of criminal hideouts to enable ground forces move into the creeks for possible arrest of suspected criminals and pipeline vandals. The activities of criminal elements in this region have been reduced drastically.
OPERATION PYTHON DANCE IN THE SOUTH EAST
8. The conduct of operation Python Dance by the Nigerian Army in the South-East has reduced the activities of kidnappers and criminal elements of the Indigenous People of Biafra.
PROCUREMENT OF MILITARY HARDWARES AND PLATFORMS
9. In an effort to improve the combat effectiveness and raise the morale of our fighting troops, this present administration has procured modern equipment for the Nigerian Armed Forces through Government to Government basis to remove vendors and reduce cost. Some of these equipments are Mine Resistant Ambush Protection vehicles, mine sweepers, mortals and ammunitions for the Nigerian Army, 60 inshore fast patrol boats, 2 new Ships (NNS Unity and CENTENARY) and Falcon Eye Surveillance Project for the Nigerian Navy while Mi-35M helicopters, Yabhon Flash 20 Unmanned Aerial Vehicles and others for the Nigerian Air Force.
10. One of the foreign policy objectives of Nigeria is to contribute to global security and project Nigeria’s image in the international community. This administration has made adequate effort to assess and improve the performance of the Nigerian contingent and their equipment status in order to increase Nigeria’s earning from United Nations reimbursements. Nigerian troops’ are currently deployed in PSOs, which include United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL), United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) Sudan, ECOWAS Mission in Guinea Bissau (ECOMIB) and Multi-Dimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission (MINUSMA) Mali. There are also Nigerian military personnel deployed as Military Observers/Staff Officers in other UN Missions. Recently, Mr President and C-in-C approved the deployment of battalion strength of Nigerian army personnel and their weapons to participate in the Islamic Military Alliance to fight global terrorism.
11. During the period of review, the Ministry of Defence has inaugurated the following Committees:
a. White Paper Committee to review the draft National Defence Policy. Accordingly, the final draft copy of the National Defence Policy and report of the White Paper Committee have been forwarded to Mr President approval.
b. Committee to advice on the planned handing over areas liberated by the military from Boko Haram to civil law enforcement agencies. The report of the Committee has been forwarded to Mr President and the implementation stage of the recommendation is in progress.
c. Committee to collate actual troops’ strength in Operation LAFIYA DOLE aimed at establishing a workable framework for the prompt payment of allowances of troops in theatre of operation towards ensuring adequate welfare of soldiers. Accordingly, the Committee’s recommendations approved by Mr President are being implemented.
d. Consultative Committee on National Defence Statistics (CCNDS) to development the Defence National Statistics Compendium that would be used to store Data on MOD and its Agencies.
REVIEW OF EXISTING MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING
12. A standing Committee to review existing Memorandum of Understanding between Nigeria and other countries was set up by the Ministry of Defence. New Memorandum of Understanding signed during this period include:
a. Memorandum of Understanding between Nigeria and France to expand the existing Memorandum of Understanding on Maritime Security between the 2 countries to include some prevailing security challenges as well as issues that involve other Services.
b. Memorandum of Understanding between Nigeria and South Africa to enhance defence cooperation between the 2 countries.
RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
13. The Armed Forces has conducted several research and development to enhance its capacity building and self-reliance. Some of them include 2 locally constructed platforms NNS KARADUWA (SDB II) and Tugboat Commander EDWIN UGWU by the Nigerian Navy as well as the production of Operational Gulma Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, hydraulic accumulator diaphragms for Mi-35 helicopters, light utility multi-role aircraft, replacement electrolyte for F-7Ni aircraft batteries and separation of Agusta 109 camera from its multi function display unit by the Nigerian Air Force. This has also helped to save cost.
REACTIVATION/RENOVATION OF ABANDONED STRATEGIC ASSESTS
14. The Armed Forces of Nigeria have been able to reactivate/renovate abandoned strategic assets/installations which were abandoned over several years. The Army has repaired a large number of Armour Fighting Vehicles and Armoured Personnel carriers which is aimed at enhancing its capacity for internal security/operations while the Nigerian Navy has upgraded its Hospital located in Calabar. The Nigerian Air Force has also reactivated some of its aircraft and helicopters to enhance its effort in the on-going counter-terrorism operation in the North-east and other security challenges.
INCREASED COLLABORATION WITH FOREIGN MILITARIES
15. The confidence in the present administration by the International Community has increased cooperation of the Armed Forces of Nigeria with militaries of neighbouring countries and other nations especially in the area of training, intelligence sharing and information management. This has led to the current Multi National Joint Task Force Operations aimed to combat trans-border crime and Boko Haram Insurgency. Recently, Nigeria hosted the Meeting of Ministers of Defence, Chiefs of Defence Staff and Heads of Security and Intelligence Services of Lake Chad Basin Commission Member Countries and Benin Republic.
PUBLIC PRIVATE PARTNERSHIP
16. The MOD has explored the policy of Public Private Partnership to facilitate the development of the Defence Industrial Corporation of Nigeria (DICON) into a Military Industrial Complex. In line with this, a Defence Industry Seminar and Defence Committee meeting was held between Nigeria and South Africa from 18 – 19 and 20 – 21 July 2016 respectively. Also, military and civilian experts from DICON are currently undergoing tour of Military Industrial Complex of other developed and developing countries. These are aimed at encouraging transfer of military technology from developed nations for the production of military hardwares for the Nigerian Armed Forces and identify areas of collaboration for the establishment of a Military Industrial Complex.
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