Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Defence Minister Reveals How Much Nigeria Benefited From Buhari’s US Trip

The newly appointed minister of defence, Mansur Dan-Ali, has disclosed what financial benefits the US trip of President Muhammadu Buhari brought to Nigeria.

Leadership reports that the minister spoke on Monday, November 16, while opening the Defence Advisers/Attaches Annual Conference 2015.

Dan-Ali revealed that apart from the promissory notes from the G8 and the United Nations, the US trip brought about $11.6 billion to Nigeria.

“Some of the more immediate benefits of the president’s trip to the US include: the proposed USD2.1 billion fund from the World Bank for the redevelopment of the Boko Haram-battered Northeast; USD5 billion from the US investors in Nigeria’s agricultural sector; USD1.5 billion investment from the US in our country’s power sector,” he said.

In his speech, the minister expressed optimism that the Boko Haram menace would soon come to an end and recalled the steps taken by Buhari that have brought a new approach to the Nigerian army in the ongoing operations against the insurgents.

“It may interest you to note that since taking office in May 2015, President Buhari has made efforts to revive the government’s campaign against Boko Haram and the Nigerian army has reclaimed territories from the extremist group.

“The president has met with his counterparts in Chad, Niger and Cameroon, three neighbouring countries that have also suffered from attacks by the insurgents and are contributing to the regional fight against the terrorists.

“He similarly embarked on consultation with major powers like the United Kingdom, France and the United Nations. In all these engagements, he solicited cooperation and assistance in ending the Boko Haram insurgency which all came with tangible responses and promises of deepening cooperation with the country,” he said

In his remarks, the chief of the Defence Intelligence Agency, Air Vice Marshal Monday Riku, noted that one of main tasks of the DIA was to enable the armed forces and the national security system to function within the nation’s environment.

“Without the appropriate economic, sociological, technological and alliance comprehension, our military forces cannot be equipped, cannot function, and cannot succeed. These trends in the wider world dictate whether we will have allies or lose them, whether we have markets for our energy and other products and whether transnational ideological trends will affect our own society,” he stated.

“We have already embarked upon a significant programme of cooperation in military operations and intelligence with our multi-national Joint Task Force coalition of which Niger, Cameroon, Chad and Benin Republic are members, with the support of out of continent allies”.

“As a provider of internal and external defence intelligence for defence planners, the agency has deployed technology in intelligence gathering and further evolved a sustainable psychological operations mechanism for the armed forces to address and complement the counterinsurgency operations in the north east”.

On November 13, Dan-Ali revisited the President Buhari certificate scandal. Speaking when he assumed duty at the ministry of defence, he criticised the immediate past chief of army staff, Kenneth Minimah, and the Nigerian army under him for not showing respect for Buhari during his WAEC certificate controversy before the 2015 general election.