We’ll follow procedure, agreement in future arms deal —Nigeria, South Africa

THE Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Defence, Ambassador Danjuma Sheni and his counterpart from South Africa, Dr Sam Gulube, on Thursday, revealed that acquisition of military platforms and equipment for the Nigerian Armed Forces from South Africa would, forthwith be governed by government-government agreement and procedure.

According to them, the relevant agencies in both countries would work on fine-tuning the procedures, with a view to making hardware acquisition faster and hitch-free.

While addressing newsmen after the end of a two-day meeting of the Nigeria-South Africa Defence Committee (DEFCOM), held in Abuja, between July 20 and 21, Ambassador Sheni said the discussions were based on considerations that were beneficial to both South Africa and Nigeria.

According to him, “we have agreed on certain agenda items including but not limited to issues of military training, platform acquisitions; vehicles mainly for our military establishment.” We have emphasised in our discussions that given our level of security threats the acquisition of military hardware and platforms would be fast tracked with our South African brothers.”

He explained that other areas of the planned new military pact with the South Africa included training and technology transfer in the areas of space technology and military medicine.

He said: “In that context, we have also agreed that a technical team consisting of our experts from the various services will within a very short time go to South Africa to ascertain our requirements and needs.

Also speaking, Dr Gulube assured Nigerians that his country would work with the Federal Government’s new military procurement policy, adding that the would also respect Nigeria’s new regulatory environment in the procurement of military acquisitions and capabilities.