A bill seeking to establish the Defence Research and Development Bureau has been passed by the House of Representatives.
The proposed Bureau will be engaging in defence related research and development for the armed forces of Nigeria.
On Thursday, the bill was considered and adopted by the Committee of the Whole, chaired by Deputy Speaker Idris Wase.
The Nigerian Military industry complex has been struggling for years, and aside from the Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria (DICON), there has been little in production of military equipment in the country. Nigeria relies heavily on the importation of equipment.
In March, Nigeria took delivery of 3 F-17 fighter jets from Pakistan and is expecting 12 A-29 Super Tucano jets from the United States.
Procedurally, the bill, sponsored by the Chairman of House Committee on Defence, Babajimi Benson (APC, Lagos), will require the concurrence of the Senate before it is transmitted to the president for assent.
According to the legislative brief of the bill, the proposed Bureau will conduct and coordinate robust research and development in the armed forces.
The Bureau is to “crystallize the results of scientific and technical research on defence items and equipment for public and private institutions and provides scientific-technical information to the Armed Forces of Nigeria and allies amongst others.”
The Bureau is to be headed by someone, not below the rank of a major-general or its equivalents in other Services. And most have experience in shall be a person knowledgeable in the defence-related industries, who has demonstrated experience in engineering or science and technology.
The governing council of the body shall comprise; Minister of Defence as Chairman; Minister of Science and Technology; Minister of Communication and Digital Economy; Chief of the Defence Staff; Chief of Army Staff; Chief of Naval Staff; Chief of Air Staff; Director-General of the Bureau; Deputy Director Coordination of the Bureau as Secretary.”
The bill was introduced to the House on the 15 December, 2020.
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