Nigeria to Boost Arms Production Against Militants

Nigeria to Boost Arms Production Against MilitantsNigeria to Boost Arms Production Against Militants

Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari instructed the defense ministry to create “a modest military industrial complex,” his office said in a statement on Friday.

“We must evolve viable mechanisms for near-self-sufficiency in military equipment and logistics production complemented only by very advanced foreign technologies,” Buhari said in his speech at the graduation ceremony of the National Defense College in Abuja, DW reported.

The proposed military complex would ramp up local production of weapons for the troops of the oil-rich African nation, who are fighting the Boko Haram insurgency.

Buhari particularly urged officials and industry leaders to “reengineer” the Defense Industries Corporation of Nigeria, or DICON, which was set up in 1964. At present, DICON is used mainly for tool-making and other civilian purposes.

Buhari took office on May 29, after ruling Nigeria as a military strongman between 1983 and 1985. During the campaign, he vowed to defeat the insurgency in the country’s northeast, following a series of failures by his predecessor.

Buhari visited the US in July and urged American lawmakers to send more weapons. However, the arms deliveries from the US are limited by the so-called Leahy Law, which prohibits sales to armies suspected of human rights abuses.