President Muhammadu Buhari said Monday in Abuja that his administration was taking urgent and appropriate actions to restore order, due process and probity to the procurement processes of the nation’s Armed Forces.
Speaking at a meeting with the British Secretary of State for Defence, Mr Michael Fallon, the Nigerian President lamented that the procurement of equipment for the country’s Armed Forces which followed due process in the past, had become open to corruption and shady deals under the last administration.
“They just put foreign exchange in a briefcase and travelled to procure equipment for the military. That is why we have found ourselves in the crisis we are now facing,” the President said.
Welcoming the offer by the British Government to assist Nigeria in defence procurement, intelligence gathering and training, President Buhari restated his conviction that the international community must collaborate more and work with greater unity of purpose to overcome global terrorism.
“Terrorism has become very sophisticated now. If developed nations can be attacked, and hundreds of lives lost, how much more developing countries?
“In the West African sub-region, Nigeria is the main battleground of the Boko Haram insurgency. We have made a lot of progress against the terrorists, but we will welcome more assistance from our friends and the international community,” the President told Mr Fallon.
Mr Fallon said that he was in the country to see what more Britain could do to support Nigeria in battling terrorism and violent extremism.
“Groups like Boko Haram don’t believe in democracy and freedom of choice, so it’s a common fight for us all,” he told President Buhari.
The United Kingdom (UK) says it will send additional 150 trainers to Nigeria towards the training of the Nigerian military.
This is part of the British government’s assistance in the fight against the Boko Haram insurgents in the disturbed northern region.
This was made public by Michael Fallon, during the visit to discuss Nigeria’s security situation.
Mr Fallon said that the military trainers, whose number would be increased to 300, would commence the exercise in 2016 on specific expertise particularly in unravelling Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs).
He also said that the British government has tightened their legislation and would work with the Nigerian government to improve the procurement and tender process of military equipment to ensure transparency and competitiveness.