The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Maj.-Gen. Taoreed Lagbaja, says the Nigerian Army is relying on modern equipment in its fight against insurgency, terrorism, banditry and other crimes.
He said this in Ibadan during an interactive session with media executives as part of activities to mark the 2023 Nigerian Army Day Celebration (NADCEL) and 160 Anniversary of Nigerian Army.
He said, “We no longer rely on 1970 or 1980 equipment to fight the battle of 2023. The Nigerian Army has procured various modern equipment and also has internally built ones. We have adequate equipment to ensure troops are ready to perform their task and tackle those challenges confronting Nigeria in 2023.
“We have asked Research and Development to build some of the equipment we used to import from abroad; if you go to our command in Kaduna, you will see what the mechanical engineers are doing. They are building vehicles; very soon we may be exporting some to neighbouring countries.
“We have design method activities such as training and further training. We partner with foreign agencies to further train our troops when they come out from initial training at the Defence Academy Training School and Nigerian Arny School in Zaria,” he said.
Lagbaja said that the immediate past Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Faruk Yahaya, had done a lot on infrastructure, medicals, training, among others.
“I will not go below those achievements; I will rather improve on the standard. I will work very hard to improve on the present standard of the Nigerian Army on training, education of the leadership cadre and welfare of families of both the living and the deceased.”
Lagbaja said that he would improve on the well-being of the troops to enable them provide security.
“We shall provide enabling environment for Nigerians in line with the core mandate of the Nigerian Army. We shall also extend cooperation to the host communities.”
He said the security situation in Nigeria was gradually improving.
“The situation is not as it was in 2014 to 2017, but there are still some level of security challenges in some parts of the country. The Nigerian troops are battling with those security challenges. We have done a lot in checkmating those criminal elements.”
He said that massive investment in the procurement of modern equipment by former President Muhammadu Buhari ensured the improved security situation currently witnessed in the country.
Lagbaja said that the procurement of military hardware, general purpose machines and other ammunition went a long way in stabilising the security situation in the Northeast and other parts of the country.
He said that the Nigerian Army would not rest on its oars and would work hard to meet the expectations of Nigerians.
“Our goal is to return peace and stability to all nooks and crannies of the country,” he declared.