Nigeria Seeks South Africa’s Cooperation To Build Military Complex

Nigeria is seeking the support of South Africa to build a national industrial military complex, even as both countries are working to prevent illegal defence transactions.

Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Defence, Danladi Sheni, who revealed this yesterday at the opening of the Nigeria-South Africa Defence Industry Inaugural Seminar (NIGSA 2016), said enhanced military cooperation based on certain legal frameworks could be achieved after the seminar.

Sheni said, “We are looking at the whole gamut of our military cooperation, at the end of it all Nigeria and SA will have a mutually beneficial defence relationship. We also want to see how the SA military establishment will assist us in establishing our own industrial military complex.” According to the top civil servant, besides the military equipment and training that Nigeria stands to benefit, the military industrial complex would create jobs, boost industrialization and on the overall would contribute to the economic enhancement of the country.

Responding, South African Secretary for Defence Sam Gulube said the threats being faced today in Africa and the entire global community require decisive action and cooperation among nations, especially in defence, which is critical.

Meanwhile, the Nigeria Army yesterday said it was carrying out a comprehensive forensic audit of all its formations, the operations in the Northeast and other parts of the country.

Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Lt. General Yusuf Buratai, who made this known yesterday in Abuja when he received the principal partner of a law firm, St. Francis Xavier Solicitors in his office, said that the Army under his leadership would not tolerate any form of corruption as he has always emphasized the need for basic audit of army accounts.

Credit: Guardian

Need To Strengthen Regional Security Cooperation in West Africa: A Non-Negotiable Priority For The Incoming Administration By Fola Aina

The West African sub region has witnessed relative peace and stability over the years. This has also helped the economies within the region to consolidate economic growth and development. While the popular assumption has been that democracy has come to stay in Africa, the case has not necessarily been the same for all the countries in the West African region. Mali, Chad, Guinea Bissau and Niger for instance have been victims of the activities of Islamic extremists in recent times. Some of the countries within the region have seen their democracies stretched beyond limits from internal political divisions having external consequences to vulnerabilities posed by political instability from close neighbours. Nigeria has not been an exception to these challenges as well. Since the return of democracy to Africa’s most populous nation on the 29th of May 1999, the country has had to confront numerous political and economic challenges after several years of military rule. Not too long after the commencement of the forth Republic, the nation was confronted with an insecurity crisis emanating from the Niger Delta region.
Furthermore, the growing negative influence of ISIS in the West African region is something the global community and Nigeria needs to me mindful of. The emergence of new security threats such as the Boko Haram Islamic extremist group, which recently rebranded its name to the Islamic State in West Africa (ISWA) and the re-emergence of the Tuareg rebel group in Northern Mali, whose activities have wide reaching consequences, has made it pertinent for regional security alliances to be revisited because of the likely spill over effects these terrorist groups have on the region and beyond. Other security threats within the region have been aggravated by the increased proliferation of small and light arms, drug trafficking and the kidnapping of expatriates to mention a few. However, efforts aimed at countering these threats, despite their transnational nature, have remained fragmented because of the inability of neighbours to forge collaborative partnerships on one hand, and issues bothering on lack of trust on the other hand.
Some countries have also chosen to respond to these insecurity challenges in the region in accordance to their domestic policy interests, with disparate, largely uncoordinated operational undertakings. For instance, in April 2010, a Joint Military Command (JMC) comprised of Algeria, Mali, Mauritania and Niger was set up to implement a new regional security plan with joint monitoring forces that were expected to total 75,000. These forces have yet to be committed.
Though slow, efforts made by African leaders in ensuring peace and security across the continent since the creation of the African Union is commendable. Initiatives such as the African Standby Force (ASF) and the Military Staff Committee (MSC) as well as the Early Warning System (EWS) point to the urgency to confront insecurity using a combination of institutional security governance and comprehensive security architecture across regions on the continent.
There is no doubt that Nigeria did most of the ground work in promoting the principle of a transcendental West African supranational entity, nevertheless, it has since been in need of the confidence of all the West African States, including the French-speaking states to succeed. Nigeria has since continued to play a vital role in providing direction and leadership under the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). Through previous peacekeeping deployments and mediation, across Sub Saharan Africa, Nigeria has helped to sustain relative peace and security in the region but political skirmishes at home and economic setbacks are major constrains on Nigeria’s ability to meet up with regional expectations. The emergence of new threats in the region also points to the fact that no single country can address these challenges on its own.
Nigeria needs to take the bull by its horns and work on strengthening regional security. A step in the right direction would be to resolve her legitimacy crisis and show real leadership.
This requires that Nigeria as well as other countries within ECOWAS pull their resources together to ensure preparedness and efficacy in confronting extremism and other forms of insecurity in the region through coordinated intelligence sharing and joint military exercises. It is significant to also note that guaranteeing regional peace and security is also in Nigeria’s interest partly because the country remains at risk of being confronted with a mass influx of refugees from neighbouring countries in the event of protracted conflicts and violence from within these countries.
Follow me on Twitter: @folanski
Fola Aina is a public policy analyst. He is also an advocate of youth development and good governance

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