As Federal Government beam its searchlight on arms procurement under the previous administration, Federal ministry of defence yesterday denied knowledge of all arms procurement saying that they were sidelined in procurement processes.
Permanent Secretary Ministry of Defence, Ismaila Aliyu, stated this while speaking with journalists, after leading officials of the Ministry to brief President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa. This is just as he revealed that the ministry has been co-opted into the probe committee to make its own contribution.
The concern of the ministry, apart from the administrative and financial support is to make sure that policy thrust is being complied with, procurement of relevant equipment according to specification of Nigerian armed forces is being complied with and we are very happy for that, Aliyu said.
“The procurement of arms sometimes but in recent years the responsibility was shifted to the services “ he told journalists at the Presidential Villa. President Buhari had early this week directed the National Security Adviser to convene an investigative committee on the procurement of hardware and munitions in the Armed Forces from 2007 till now.
A statement by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, had said the investigative committee’s mandate is to identify irregularities and make recommendations for streamlining the procurement process in the Armed Forces. Following the directive, the NSA had constituted a 13 man investigative committee headed by AVM J.O.N. Ode (rtd.) to commence the probe.
Aliyu said the President had during the briefing asked that the ministry of defence be included in that committee seeing that the ministry was very involved in the procurement in those years. “so definitely we have something to present to that committee” he said adding that the ministry is very excited that the committee has been formed. 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 said.
-Tony Ailemen, Abuja