Lack of access to sophisticated weapons causing delay in Boko Haram defeat, says Defence minister

Lack of access to sophisticated weapons causing delay in Boko Haram defeat, says Defence minister

- Nigeria's defence minister, Bashir Magashi, has shed some light on the country's challenges in the anti-terrorism fight

- Magashi said the fight against the insurgency is being impeded by the military's lack of access to required weapons

- The minister said Nigeria will have to look into producing its required weapons locally to address the problem

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Major General Bashir Magashi (rtd), Nigeria's defence minister, has said that the country is having challenges in successfully defeating the Boko Haram insurgents due to lack of access to the required sophisticated modern weapons.

The Guardian reports that Magashi stated this while commissioning the new office complex of the Defence Research and Intelligence Bureau in Abuja.

He added that the development is also affecting the conduct of other military operations nationwide.

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Boko Haram: Lack of access to sophisticated weapons causing delay in defeating insurgents, says Defence minister
Lack of access to sophisticated weapons causing delay in Boko Haram defeat, says Defence minister. Photo credit: Major General Bashir Salihi Magashi- - RTD CFR CON
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According to the minister, some world powers are refusing to sell to Nigeria the arms that will enable the soldiers to deal with the insurgents.

How to address the lack of access to weapons

The defence minister said the way to go is for Nigeria to ramp up its domestic armament and check the dependence on the imported arsenal.

He stressed that the Nigerian military needs to be highly innovative and self-reliant in the production of unique military hardware.

Magashi said:

“This development calls for self-appraisal, innovation and determination to indigenously produce our military requirements.
“Most armed forces that have attained self-reliance in equipment and platforms were once faced by similar challenges. Therefore, we need to evolve a new concept of Made-in-Nigeria for our military equipment and platforms.”

The minister also praised the Defence Research and Intelligence Bureau, saying it has shown the capacity to generate technological solutions of sufficient quantity through collaborative research.

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Cooperation with academia, industries and MDAs

Also speaking the event, the chief of defence staff, General Gabriel Olonisakin, said the success of modern-day armed forces is measured by their ability to develop and employ unique technologies to efficiently confront exceptional security problems.

Olonisakin said Nigeria's security challenges are unique and therefore, require unique indigenous solutions.

He said these indigenous solutions can only be achieved through innovative research and development in partnership with the academia, industries and Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).

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In another report, the chief of army staff, Lt Gen Tukur Buratai, has said the fight against the Boko Haram insurgency is facing a setback due to the poor state of some roads in the northeast.

The army chief said the bad roads are hampering the efforts of the military to respond swiftly to attacks by insurgents, bandits and other criminals.

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He listed the affected roads to include the 394-kilometre Maiduguri-Jakana, Maiduguri-Damboa-Biu, Maiduguri-Monguno, and Maiduguri-Bama-Gwoza roads.

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