Chief of Defence Staff, CDS, General Gabriel Olonisakin yesterday said Nigeria as a nation cannot continue to depend entirely on foreign technology if really the security challenges bedeviling the nation are to be tackled head on.
Gen. Olonisakin stated that the country is endowed with a lot of professionals who are contributing extensively to technology elsewhere in the world hence the need for it maximize potentials for self reliance.
The Defence Chief who doubles as the chief host at the Nigeria Air Force Research and Development‎ seminar 2015, with the theme “Maximizing potentials for self reliance in Nigeria Air Force through innovation and local partnership,” lamented that the lack of synergy has been primarily responsible for the low level of technological and industrial backwardness the country is currently experiencing.
According to the CDS, “there must be collaboration among the military, academia and of course the technocrats and industrialists to harness our various endowments to push Nigeria forward technologically.”
While fielding questions from newsmen shortly after the opening ceremony on the fight against insurgency and meeting the December deadline and whether or not the security is well equipped, he said,‎ “Presently we don’t have the well whithal, that is why we are encouraging Research and Development so that we can be self reliant in our production and in no distance future we will get there. Research and development is a tripod arrangement, the user, manufacturer and academia, the three hands must synergies, so, we being the user needs all the other legs so that we can get the product that is required to prosecute insurgency.
“We will reach out to local manufacturers to make sure that we inculcate them into the whole arrangement.
“We are winning the war against ‎insurgency and we will keep doing that, we are working with timeline and we have our mandate and we are working within our mandate.
On his part, the Chief of Air Staff, CAS, Air Marshal. Sadiq Abubakar also emphasised that ‎home based technology is a sure way to acquire some degree of immunity from the vagaries of international politics of economy and or defence.
According to the CAS, “to achieve home based technology independence, nation’s have created the enabling environment for research based collaboration between the military and the civilian sectors. These collaborative efforts have yielded fruitful results ranging from the production of the Atomic Bomb, through the “Manhattan Project”, to the discovery of the Global Positioning System, GPS, from the NAVSTAR Project”.
Also speaking, the special guest of honour, Kaduna State Governor Malam Nasir El-Rufai represented by his deputy Architect Barnabas Bala Bantex commended security exploits in combating insurgency in the North East and security joint efforts against cattle rustling in the North West.