The National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI) will begin development of Made-in-Nigeria military weapons and equipment to strengthen the fight against insurgency, banditry and other security threats in the country.
This was disclosed in a statement issued over the weekend by Deputy Director in charge of Information in NASENI, Olusegun Ayeoyenikan. He noted that NASENI in collaboration with some indigenous research Institutions and Industry: Nigeria Machine Tools (NMT) Osogbo and the Nigerian Army Corps of Electrical and Mechanical Engineers jointly had commenced production of a12.7mm AA Gun through reverse engineering, including Armour Personnel Carrier vehicles, Unmanned Aerial Drones and other light weapons for use by the military.
Speaking during a courtesy visit to the COAS on Thursday, the Executive Vice Chairman/CEO, Prof. Muhammad Haruna said NASENI has identified some potential international partners in the development and production of small arms and light weapons, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV).
These developments were buttressed in Abuja when the Executive Vice Chairman/Chief Executive of NASENI, Engr, Prof Mohammed Sani Haruna, OFR paid a courtesy visit to the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Faruk Yahaya to brief him on the actions so far taken by the Agency in implementing the Presidential directives on NASENI research and development of appropriate military weapons locally, other technology and war equipment to support the Armed Forces in its fight against insurgency, banditry, kidnapping and for the defence of the territorial integrity of the country.
According to NASENI Executive Vice Chairman “the Agency had begun collaboration with some indigenous industries and research institutions as well as some foreign Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) with a view to domesticating military weapons and equipment production in Nigeria through infrastructural development and transfer of technology.”
He said “NASENI is currently collaborating with some indigenous research Institutions and Industries; one of which is the Nigerian Army Corps of Electrical and Mechanical Engineering institution which jointly produced 12.7mm AA Gun through reverse engineering. We are hopeful of a presidential intervention to mass produce the guns for the Armed Forces. With this achievement, I am hopeful that we would be able to revisit our MoU discussions on local production of weapons and MRAPs.”
Locally, NASENI is collaborating with Proforce Defence where both companies signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) field of science and technological advancement.
NASENI has also expressed interest to work with Indonesian state owned companies such as PT PAL & PT PINDAD.
PT Pindad is currently expanding its presence with Africa, in November 2019, the company signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Paramount Group for the local development and joint marketing of armoured vehicle systems.
Nigeria and Indonesia already have an existing agreement on weapons joint production.
Indonesian Ambassador to Nigeria Usra Harahap met with executive vice-chairman Mohammed Sani Haruna of Nigeria’s National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI) in January last year.
The Nigerian Ministry of Foreign Affairs accepted a draft proposal for strengthened bilateral defense cooperation between the countries, which now includes a quotation of weapons and equipment from abuja estimated at $57m.
Nigeria’s defence industry is blossoming, and has taken a major step forward by spearheading the development of weapons and seeking international partnerships to facilitate the transfer of knowledge and technology.
In addition, NASENI is also working to create a strong manufacturing base in Nigeria, building on the country’s natural resources to develop a cutting-edge defence industry that will operate in conjunction with the country’s traditional security forces.
This is a major milestone in Nigeria’s defence sector, one that will enable the country to build a secure and reliable defence network that will protect both its citizens and its interests abroad.