A presidential aspirant on the platform of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Sam Nda-Isaiah, has criticised the federal government over the $15 million cash arms deal in South Africa.
Mr. Nda-Isaiah said the deal did not only violate the laws of both countries, but was a sad reminder of how far Nigeria’s potential had been wasted.
Mr. Nda-Isaiah said as the largest economy in Africa, it was highly regrettable that Nigeria could not produce the arms and ammunition needed to fully equip its military.
Nigeria, he said, had the potential to produce all the arms needed for the Nigerian military and to supply other African nations.
The former publisher of Leadership Newspapers “decried the fact that Nigeria has a huge population from which we can source the labour force, and the positive ripple effects that such a huge enterprise would have on other businesses from raw materials supply to logistics.”
He said this would have also been a revenue earner for the federal government as well as being of key importance in the national security and foreign policy.
Mr. Nda-Isaiah said Nigeria would yield a lot of benefits in foreign policy if “we had the ability to fully arm our military and provide the necessary military equipment to the security forces of other African nations.”
The presidential aspirant said there was an urgent need to ensure that Nigeria self-sufficient in military supplies as no nation could pursue a successful war against enemies both foreign and domestic without fully equipping its military.
He said the Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria, DICON, which was established in 1964, should be manufacturing fighter jets and helicopters as in other nations such as Brazil, which had established similar industries as Nigeria.