From Ndubuisi Orji, Abuja
The Presidential Implementation/Advisory Committee for the implementation of the recommendations of the Reform Committee on the Ministry of Defence and Armed Forces said it had recommended the integration of civilians into a new security architecture.
Chairman of the panel, Major General Alwari Kazir (retd ) disclosed this, yesterday, during an advocacy visit to the House of Representatives Committee on Defence.
Kazir explained that the way the country’s armed forces is organised, trained, equipped and managed by the Ministry of Defence was based on the need to confront conventional threats. Consequently, he stated that it has become imperative to reform the defence and security architecture to meet contemporary challenges.
According to him, “the end of the cold war has enhanced globalisation with its attendant features of interdependence and internationalisation. Regrettably, globalisation has also precipitated and brought about actors in the international and international stages in the form of non-state actors. These new actors participate in different native engagements ranging from religious extremism to ethnic chauvinism etc, leading to a series of conflicts. These are things that are happening the world over.
“On that hand, despite some recent adjustment, the way our armed forces are organised, trained, equipped and managed by the Ministry of Defence was based on the need to confront conventional threats. This makes the reform of our defence and security architecture imperative. Today, in effect, the Ministry of Defence and the Armed Forces of Nigeria need to be properly organised, structured, manned with the required mix of military and civilian personnel as is the global best practice in almost all countries, especially developed countries.
“Reforming the Ministry of Defence and Armed Forces of Nigeria will also ensure that we have an Armed Forces that is affordable for the national economy while sufficient in size, structure, training and equipment to respond effectively to both conventional and asymmetric warfare. The need to re-position the AFN to meet its national and international obligations particularly at this time when a myriad of security challenges are confronting our country is apt and timely.
“In the final analysis, we are working towards an integrated Ministry of Defence with a requisite mix of civilian and military staff. An Armed forces that is well structured, adequately sized for the national economy and adequately manned, trained and equipped to meet contemporary security challenges. This is repeated for the sake of emphasis. We are also looking at an Armed Forces that is adequately financed and resourced with assurance for value for money. We are also looking for an armed forces that looks towards self-sufficiency, at least in some areas of local production of arms, ammunition, equipment and services. We are also working toward an armed forces that operates within the confines of democratic control and in compliance with domestic and international laws.”