The House of Representatives has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to support the local production of firearms. Reps members called on the FG to release N3 billion for the take- off of local production of ﬁrearms and ammunition through collaboration between the Defence Industries Corporation (DICON) and National Metallurgical Development Center (NMDC).
The call was made after Rep. Abdullahi Ibrahim Halims moved the adoption of the motion during plenary on Monday.
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The call for local production of firearms, according to Halims who presented the motion, was in view of the rejection and delay to import arms from Western countries by the Federal Republic of Nigeria. He cited that this has stalled the overall fight against insurgency, and that the FG should bestride the opportunity to boost Local Content Production. His words:
“To me this is a clarion call for us to look inwards with the view to harness our abundant human and material resources to commence full local production of arms and ammunition to meet our immediate needs and further drive our local contents initiative.
“The beneﬁts accruable to our country through this initiative will be enormous and indeed unquantiﬁable. Among which are – boost research and promote self-reliance in the local production of armory, weapons and other military equipment, conservation of foreign exchange, wealth creation and employment Opportunities for our teaming youths, aid our security agencies to effectively combat crimes and criminality and many other beneﬁts too numerous to mention.”
He recalled that DICON had through the local content initiative produced a military vehicle called Ezeugwu MRAP (Mine Resistance Ambush Protected) which was commissioned by Mr President sometimes ago:
“And today it is been deployed in the battleﬁeld in Borno state with conﬁrmed efﬁcacy and preference is been given to it by our soldiers compared to the imported version due it’s efﬁciency. (the cost far less than the imported version).”
According to Halims, a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between DICON and NMDC exist on the objective of producing military equipment, arms and ammunition. The House, after the hearing, mandated its committee on defence to coordinate the agencies of government involved while the committee on legislative compliance ensures compliance.
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