President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday unveiled locally produced Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles which were nicknamed Ezugwu MRAP, and other armoured vehicles designed to carry out insertion and extraction of troops, assault, counter-terrorism, delivery of high firepower and urban warfare.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the vehicles were unveiled during the Chief of Army Staff Annual Conference on Tuesday in Kaduna.
Other primary and secondary armaments that were unveiled at the event included anti-aircraft guns that also carry a crew of twelve commanders, driver, two gunners and eight soldiers.
“These armoured vehicles that were produced by DICON are testimonies that the government’s effort is yielding positive results.
“It is encouraging to note that, the Nigerian Army as a critical element of National power is involved in innovative and inventive ventures to become an Army to be proud of in the future by all Nigerians.
“There is no doubt that a lot has been achieved by the Army since my assumption into office.
“Our administration has continued to provide resources for the execution of transformational projects with the aim of modernizing the Army to be better positioned to perform its constitutional roles,” Buhari said.
President Buhari noted the collaborative efforts of the command engineering Depot with relevant indigenous organizations to promote local content towards developing Nigeria’s Military-Industrial Complex.
“In this regard, it is pertinent to acknowledge the establishment of the Army University, Biu, the Army Resource Centre in the Army War College to further boost intellectual capacities in the forces,” he said.
The president further lauded the Nigerian Army for the establishment of Army Cyber Warfare Command, Fifty Space Command and the Land Forces Segregation Centre.
He said they were laudable efforts aimed at repositioning the Army to address emerging and future threats to National security.
President Buhari described the Nigerian Army Conference as an avenue for strategic leaders and operational commanders to appraise, assess and evaluate the Army’s activities for the year 2019 as well as make projections for improved engagements in 2020 and beyond.
“This kind of self-assessment is being sustained because it is critical for the professional development of the Nigerian Army. One of the cardinal pillars of our government is the provision of security,” he stressed.
The President appreciated men and officers of Nigerian Army for their relentless effort in securing the country, noting that “many personnel have lost their lives, some have sustained injuries and a significant number have been away from their families for a long time.”
Governor Nasiru El-Rufai, in a goodwill message, said Kaduna State was privileged to play host to many military formations which brings various benefits to the state.
“We are proud of the leadership of the Nigerian Army. Here in Kaduna, we cannot forget the role the Nigerian Army plays in encouraging peace and security across the state in the last four years.”
He said the army had helped to restore peace and stability in the Southern Kaduna by establishing an operational base.
“We appreciate the initiative, innovative and investments undertaken by the army which by extension benefit our people.”
Mr El-Rufai disclosed that the assembling of automotive vehicles for the use of the army had begun in Kaduna, in addition to the Peugeot Automobile Assembly Plant.
“DICON is also starting garment for the armed forces and paramilitary agencies.
“We are establishing a cluster garment that will produce not only military and paramilitary uniforms but also civilian clothing for domestic and export.
“We are going to take advantage of that and we are very grateful to the army for being that catalyst for development,” Mr El-Rufai said.