The Federal Government has commenced the review of rules of engagement, operations and administration of the Defence Ministry and the Armed Forces as a response to the security challenges in the country.
Minister of Defence, Major General Bashir Salihi Magashi indicated this while receiving the Report of a Committee set up mid-February to facilitate the Reform of the Ministry and Armed Forces in a ceremony held at the National Defence College, Abuja.
Gen Magashi explained that government had identified factors impeding efficiency in the operations of the military and resolved to remedy the situation.
“We identified some factors impeding efficiency in the system most of which are mainly structural while others bordering on lack of synergy among the Services. It is in realization of these challenges and in line with Mr. President’s intent that the Ministry undertook this novel project for improved performance in the discharge of our constitutional mandate.”
The Minister stated further that the government would ensure that a comprehensive security sector reform is convoked towards addressing the deficiencies inherent in the Nigerian Police and other paramilitary agencies for better internal security operations in the country.
The event which was witnessed by the Chief of Defence Staff, Service Chiefs and top military brass serving and retired, had the presence of Nigeria’s Minister of Interior, Mr. Rauf Aregbesola.
The Interior Minister in a goodwill remark said the paramilitary will also be reformed in line with global best practices as well in order to queue into the efforts of the Federal Government towards re-jigging security phenomena.
Rauf Aragbesola described the efforts of the Hon Minister of Defence in reforming the Nigeria Defence sector, as a good one, adding that it was timely and the paramilitary cannot be left out as stakeholders.
“We will also reform as our response to making things better in the security architecture,” he remarked.
The Permanent Secretary of Defence Ministry, Musa Istifanus, in his welcome address commended the fore sights of President Muhammadu Buhari and the Defence Minister, Maj Gen. Bashir Salihi Magashi for their commitment in finding a lasting solution to the recurring Security challenges in the country.
Mr Istifanus informed that the committee which was inaugurated on the 15th of February 2021 was tasked primarily with the responsibility to review the composition and structure of Ministry of Defence and Armed Forces of Nigeria and to design a management model that will reduce inconsistencies, duplications and appendages with clear allocation of responsibilities, authority and accountability, in line with international best practices.
He therefore urged Nigerians to continue to support the Government and the Military in their endeavor to overcome security challenges in the country.
The Chief of Defence Staff, Maj. General Leo Irabor reassured the MOD that the Armed Forces of Nigeria remains loyal to the Federal Government and would be eager to key into the reforms for greater efficiency.
Presenting the report, the Chairman of the committee, Air vice Marshal MN Umaru (RTD) noted that an urgent action is required for the audit of military personnel and equipment in all formations of the AFN, application of technology in the conduct of war and the handling of cybersecurity issues as they affect national security.
AVM Umaru noted that the “enormity of these issues resulted in the over seventy (70) recommendations proffered by the committee in its report. Knowing that there are usually challenges in actualising reforms, we have drawn up strategies for our recommendations with a view to facilitating their implementation”.
He explained that “legislative processes to correct some of the observed deficiencies would be needed while a holistic security reform will be required to ensure a whole of Government and All-of-citizens approach to combating the emergent ills of the society in order words, comprehensive approaches are needed involving the military and civilian expertise.”
Director (Press & Public Relations)