Troops of the Nigerian Army will be provided with 400 new armoured vehicles in an unprecedented buy in recent time.
The newly promoted Commander of the Brigade of Guards, Major General Mohammed Usman at the State House, Abuja, on Wednesday 28 December, 2022 thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for the approval of 400 new armoured vehicles.
Major General Mohammed Usman stated that the new vehicles were enough to secure his area of responsibility including the Federal Capital Territory, Nasarawa State and parts of Niger State.
It is not yet certain if this is a new acquisition, or part of an existing one as Nigeria’s military procurement process and funding are still opaque.
Africa’s biggest economy is struggling with rising kidnapping, killings and social disorder defacing the country’s investment outlook.
The growing insecurity is seen posing as an existential risk to Africa’s biggest economy.
400 new armoured vehicles buy is quite large and would have been captured in the 2022 or 2023 Appropriation Budget for Nigeria.
The 2022 Defence budget was N1.20 trillion ($2.919 billion), representing about 7% of the FG budget, and most was allocated for items.
President Muhammadu Buhari budgeted a total sum of N1 trillion, 192 billion, 141 million, 212. 956 for the Ministry of Defence and the Armed Forces for the year 2023.
The Nigerian Army was allocated the sum of N580 billion (excluding Supplementary funding) with Personnel costs to gulp over N530 billion, Overhead N20.53 billion and capital expenditure to gulp N29.87 billion.
This recent 400 armoured vehicle buy may likely be part of previous mega acquisitions of armor over the past few years which includes the recent block buy of close to a hundred Streit Group SPARTAN-MAV armoured personnel carriers.
Spartan-MAV is a 4×4 armoured vehicle designed and built by Canadian armoured vehicle manufacturer Streit Group. The armoured vehicle can support military, police and law enforcement missions.
They will join another 177 Streit vehicles of various types including Warrior, Typhoon, and Spartans acquired in 2017 for the Nigerian Army to equip the forces battling Violent Extremist Groups in the region.
Nigeria has been acquiring a wide variety of military hardware in recently years, from both local and foreign manufacturers. Domestic products include the Proforce Ara armoured personnel carrier and the Ezugwu APC manufactured by DICON, while the Nigerian Army Vehicle Manufacturing Company (NAVMC) is developing several armoured vehicles.
Nigeria in December procured at least twenty of the latest generation mine-resistant light patrol vehicle (M-LPV) SandCat designed in 2018, which starts at $250,000 (€ 212,400 approx) per unit.
Nigeria took delivery of around a hundred Chinese Dongfeng Mengshi (Warrior) CSK131 4×4 armoured vehicles. The Dongfeng Mengshi CSK131 4×4 armoured vehicles arrived in Nigeria on Sunday 7, November 2021.
In the same period, acquired sixty new Norinco Type-89 tracked armoured vehicles from China’s Norinco.
The Nigerian Army also bought around 200 Poly Technologies/ NORINCO CS/VP3 Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicle (MRAP) delivered between 2015 to 2021. The plethora of hardware from Norinco cost an estimated $152 million in a deal signed in 2019.
The FV107 Scimitar is an armoured reconnaissance vehicle, one of the CVR(T) series of vehicles that entered service in 1971. Although sometimes classed as a light tank, it is very similar to the FV101 Scorpion.
The FV-107 Scimitars are part of the second consignment of equipment procured from Jordan.
This new acquisition is part of a broader re-equipping of the Army’s armoured corps to better handle violent extremism in the region.
In 2021, the Nigerian army began accepting from Defence Industries Cooperation of Nigeria (DICON) 52 Ezugwu Mine Resistance and Ambush Protected vehicles, the total inventory reaching 100 vehicles.
The armoured fighting vehicles will join several recent acquisitions from China, which includes NORINCO ST1 105 mm Fire Support Vehicle, VT-4 Main Battle Tank, SH-5 105mm self-propelled Artillery System, and SH-2 122mm self-propelled artillery system. These hardware arrived in April last two year.
For more than a decade now, Nigeria has been constantly battling Boko Haram and ISWAP, with no respite in sight. Thus, the military has drawn criticism from various quarters for its inability to end the war.
These new vehicles are significantly increasing the mobility and combat efficiency of troops ongoing the CT/COIN against Boko Haram terrorists and Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP) in the North East.
Nigerian Army Chief of Policy and Plans Lieutenant General Lamidi Adeosun said, “The process of acquiring this has been on for some time but thank God they are coming in now. From this, you can see how serious the Federal Government of Nigeria is in making sure that the Nigerian Army is not only equipped, but contain [the] problem of insecurity we are having across the country.”
“This is being tackled with trained personnel and required equipment. What you are seeing here is just a tip of the iceberg. Others are still coming but it is very important that we all see that both the military and the government are really very serious to tackle the security problems across the nation.”
Other recent imports include Kia Light Tactical Vehicle (KLTV) armoured personnel carriers and Paramount Marauders, amongst others in small numbers.