Nigeria and South African defence bilateral relations

The Permanent Secretary, Ministry Of Defence (MOD), Ambassador Danjuma Nanpon Sheni has reviewed his call for a result oriented effort by political leaders in Nigeria and South Africa in their bid to tackle the common problems of terrorism, hunger, diseases and ignorance, stressing that both countries occupy strategic positions in the map of Africa.

According to the Perm Sec, Nigeria and South Africa are working on the same front on security matters expressing optimism that the strength and potentials of the two countries would be examined during the seminars adding that he had the assurance that the two countries’ Defence Industries would be enhanced which would afford them the opportunity to better confront the security challenges confronting the two countries.

AMB Sheni further reiterated that he was of the school of thought who believed that Africa’s problems

 could only be solved in an African way. He therefore called on the delegates from both countries to focus more on consultation, communication and confidence building in their collective efforts aimed at tackling African security challenges.

He reminded the participants that the visit of President Muhammadu Buhari to South Africa and the visit of the South African President to Nigeria culminated into this 2016 seminar cum exhibition organized by Nigerian Ministry of Deference adding that he was highly delighted and deeply appreciative of the presence of South Africa’s delegates.

In a similar event, the South African Minister of Defence started by acknowledging the immense contributions of Nigeria in seeing to the demise of apartheid in their country stressing that Nigeria took the lead in the organization of African Unity which led to the release of Mandela.

His words “were it not for the leading role of Nigeria; we will not be here today. There is a bond between Nigeria and South Africa, hence we have deliberately chosen Mandela day to be in Nigeria for the seminar and exhibition.”

According to him, the Defence Industries South Africa answered the clarion call for symbolic relationship between the two countries to ensure our Defence Industries come up with advanced research, so that our nations would not just be seen as sources of raw materials but a place where research and development also thrive with tangible results to show.

“To have socioeconomic development we need peace and security, all about the success stories emanating from internet today started from the military. Therefore if defence technology of the two countries were to be well harnessed the amazing results would be there to show”.

It will be recalled that the paper delivered by the Director General, Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria (DICON), Maj Gen Bamidele Ogunkale on “Military Industrial complex in Nigeria- prospect and challenges” was thought provoking and clandestinely volatile enough to jolt the political leaders to immediate action on issue of moving DICON to a pride of place among committee of nations. The paper was well decoded by participants judging from the questions that came up during interactive section.

The participants at the seminar were able to seamlessly dissect the strength, weakness as well as the potentials of DICON and by extension the proposed Military Industrial Complex. The DG through his paper brought to the fore the urgent need to depart from mere rhetoric on issue of Military Industrial Complex to concrete action. The DG also ensured that key companies that are into production of military equipment were present at the seminar and exhibition. Some of which DICON had already signed memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to partner with in her efforts to meet the Ordnance needs of the Nigerian Armed Forces and other security agencies.

At the end of the seminar and exhibition gleaning from what were presented, both the Perm Sec and his Directors in Ministry of Defence assured the participants that the current administration of President Muhammadu Buhari is quite willing to enter into partnership with South Africa in area of technology transfer and subsequent production of military hardware. The participants all unanimously agreed that African problems must be solved in an African way.

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