Aliyu Ismaila, Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Defence told journalists on Thursday that Nigeria Ministry of Defence was sidelined in the procurement of weapons for the armed forces in recent years.Ismaila noted that the ministry was responsible for procurement of weapons in the past but was sidelined from doing so in the last few years.
President Buhari had last Monday ordered the National Security Adviser, Maj.-Gen. Babagana Monguno (retd.) to set up the committee to probe Nigeria’s arms purchase since 2007.
The committee which has already started sitting was mandated with the task of identifying irregularities and making recommendations for streamlining weapons procurement process for the Armed Forces.
Ismaila who led other officials to brief President Muhammadu Buhari on the activities of the ministry said the ministry has been involved in the procurement of arms in the past, but in recent years, the responsibility was shifted to the services.
He however revealed that the President has directed that the ministry should be co-opted in the investigative committee to probe the procurement of hardware and ammunition in the Armed Forces.
“The ministry was very involved in the procurement in those years, so definitely we have something to present to that committee,” said the Permanent Secretary.
Ismaila however said the Ministry was glad with its inclusion in the Committee to probe the weapons purchase.
“The ministry is very excited that this committee has been formed, because our own concern apart from the administrative and financial support is to make sure that policy thrust is complied with. Procurement of relevant equipment according to specification of Nigerian armed forces is being complied with and we are very happy for that,” said Ismaila.
“At the end of this, we hope to have procurement that will be value added, cost effective and will meet our needs both locally and internationally,” he added of the expectations of the Ministry at the end of the probe.
The Permanent Secretary also told reporters that the Armed Forces are working to defeat Boko Haram to meet the three months deadline given to them by the President to end insurgency.