To boost its fight against Boko Haram Terrorists and other criminal elements across the country, the Nigerian Army has taken delivery of high-grade armoured tanks and artillery trucks purchased by the federal government.
The armaments which were built to specification were ordered from China after that country’s state-owned China Ordnance Industries Group Corporation Limited (Norinco) won the federal government’s bid for the acquisition of military hardware last year.
The Chinese government, it was learnt was made to guarantee the quality and timely delivery of the armaments, which are mostly intended for use in the North-east to boost the ongoing war against insurgency.
It was gathered that China won the bid for the military equipment following its flexible maintenance policies and durability of the equipment it had supplied the country including warships built for the Nigerian Navy.
Equipped with the latest artillery and armoured technologies, the armaments have the ability to wage war from multiple fronts with technologies that aid visibility in cloudy or smoky weather.
It was gathered that Nigeria is the first country in the world to have these vehicles, which were built to carry a minimum of 12 armed personnel housed securely inside.
Dr. Ahmed Vanderpuije was amongst the dignitaries that witnessed the delivery of the armaments as the Army’s Chief of Policy and Plans, Lieutenant General Lamidi Adeosun said Nigerians should expect more robust operations to put behind the menace of insecurity including Boko Haram, kidnapping, banditry and others.
Speaking while receiving the military equipment, Adeosun on behalf of the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Yusuf Buratai said the armament which were in three different categories- heavy tanks, light tanks and two types of artillery heavy guns – were the first set of many others procured by the government.
While also stating that local engineers and technicians had been trained abroad to maintain the equipment locally, and that 15 containers of spare parts and accessories had also been imported for same.
According to him: “We are here to witness the reception of the armament, the government of Nigeria through the Ministry of Defence procured for the Nigeria Army. The process of acquiring this have been on for some time, but thank God they are now coming in as at today.
“With these, we can see how serious the government of Nigeria is in making sure that not only is the Army re-equipped as necessary, but to ensure that the insecurity problem we are having all over the country are tackled not only with trained personnel but the required equipment.
“This is just a tip of the iceberg and many others are still coming, but it is important that we all see that both the military and the government are really very serious to tackle the security problems across the nation”
They are new ones, the latest technology in tank and artillery armament is what you are seeing. Before today the first set of 15 containers, 40ft each, offloaded, were made up of spare parts and accessories for all these equipment.
“Expect more robust cooperation to end the menace of insecurity, whether Boko Haram, bandits or whatever, this is the first batch of a many of them coming” Adeosun stated.
He said the weapons were acquired through the Ministry of Defence, adding that adequate preparations were made for maintenance and availability of spare parts.