The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt-Gen. Tukur Buratai, on Saturday said the Nigerian Army would in 2025 begin the production of combat vehicles in the country.
Buratai made this known at the 77 Regular Recruits Intake Passing-Out Parade at the Nigerian Army Depot in Zaria, Kaduna State.
He said that through research, the Depot had already produced five patrol vehicles named “TYB”.
“Let me at this juncture commend the Commandant, Depot, Nigerian Army and his team for the uncommon research and development feat which led to the production of five patrol vehicles, named TYB Robile in my honour.
“By this breakthrough, the Nigerian Army is poised to become self-reliant in class `B’ combat vehicles by the year 2025.
“Furthermore, the ultra-modern industry military range which I will commission today is one of the cottage technological training aids designed to improve recruits marksmanship skills and economise use of old classes of army ammunition for training.
“I, therefore, urge the Depot Nigerian Army to maximise its use to enhance the quality of young soldiers trained in the Nigerian Army,” he said.
The COAS said that the collaborative training with the British Advisory Team (BAT) had further introduced the recruits to contemporary training method.
“It is highly gratifying to note that this highly revered institution established in 1924 has remained focused in the discharge of its primary responsibilities of transforming able-bodied young Nigerians from civil orientation to well-trained soldiers.
“This is to meet the manpower requirements of the Nigerian Army.
“Depot Nigerian Army has over the years remained pivotal in sustaining the growth and development of the Nigerian Army toward fulfilling its constitutional mandate of defending the territorial integrity of our great country, Nigeria,” he said.
According to him, the passing-out parade is desirably coming at a time when Nigeria is confronted with series of security challenges.
Buratai also said that it was gratifying that the Depot had continued to evolve training activities to actualise the vision of the Chief of Army Staff of having a professionally responsible Army for its constitutional roles.
He said that the passing-out recruits would complement the manpower needs of Nigerian Army with competent and combatant-ready young soldiers.
While congratulating the recruits for successful completion of training, Buratai said a lot would be demanded from them in terms of loyalty, selfless service, courage, discipline, integrity and respect for others.
“You are expected to always do your utmost best in order to sustain these core values through high professional standards in order to enhance your individual competences and share common vision.
“Consequently, I wish to implore you to imbibe and retain the mental, physical and spiritual training given to you in this institution and the post-depot training you will be exposed to at your units, formations and corps.
“Let me seize this opportunity to remind you of the oath of allegiance that was administered to you two days ago, and to state that you are henceforth subjected to both civil and military laws,” he said.
He advised them to avoid anything that would tarnish the image of the Army and the nation.
The army boss charged the new personnel to remain loyal to the constituted authorities where they would be posted to serve.
He lauded President Muhammadu Buhari for his active and continues support to the Army which had culminated into more successes in the fight against all sorts of criminality across the country.
BREAKING: Buhari Nominates Okonjo-Iweala For WTO Director-General Position
President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the nomination of Ngozi Okonjo Iweala, former coordinating minister for the economy, for the position of director-general of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), TheCable reports.
In a document seen by TheCable on Thursday, Buhari withdrew the candidacy of Yonov Frederick Agah, Nigeria’s permanent representative to WTO, for the same position.
The election is scheduled to hold in Geneva, Switzerland in 2021 for a four-year term that would run from 2021 to 2025.
Buhari Presides Over Virtual FEC Meeting
President Muhammadu Buhari is currently presiding over a virtual Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting at the State House, Abuja.
The meeting, which started at 09:02 GMT has the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo (SAN), Secretary to Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, Chief of Staff to the President, Professor Ibrahim Gambari, as well as some Ministers in attendance.
Ministers present in the hall include those of Justice, Aviation, Finance, Information and Culture, Environment, Water Resources, Defence and Works.
All other Ministers are attending form their various offices in the nation’s capital city, Abuja.
The meeting is expected to consider issues surrounding how the nation can mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 and how to enhance the livelihood of Nigerians in the midst of the pandemic.
Senate Okays Buhari’s $5.513bn Loan Request
The Senate on Tuesday approved President Muhammadu Buhari’s $5.513 billion external loan request to finance the revised 2020 budget.
The approval followed the presentation and consideration of the report of the Senate Committee on Local and Foreign Debts, Senator Clifford Odia (Edo Central) by the upper chamber.
Buhari had, in his letter of request, said the $5.513 billion external loan is to enable the Federal Government fund the 2020 revised budget.
However, the components of the external loan, which is to enable the Federal Government execute its priority projects and for projects to support state governments in stimulating their economy, which has been adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, was stood down by the Senate due to lack of requisite details.
A lender for the Federal Government’s priority projects as approved by the Senate is the African Development Bank (AfDB) – $125million to strengthen healthcare system and improve response to COVID-19 and $23 million for financing smallholder farmers to mitigate food security impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Others are $600million from the Islamic Development Bank to support response to challenges posed by COVID-19 and $500 million from the African Export-Import Bank to provide critical medical supplies to combat COVID-19.
Also, the Senate passed the 2020-2022 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper (MTEF/FSP) of the Federal Government.
President Muhammadu Buhari had last Thursday, in a letter, urged the upper chamber to consider and approve the 2020-2022 MTEF/FSP.
The Senate approved the recommendation of the Senator Solomon Adeola-led Senate Committee on Finance that the price of crude oil put at $25 per barrel by the Federal Government, be increased to $28 per barrel.
The upper chamber also approved that the proposed daily oil production benchmark of 1.9 million barrel per day be reduced to 1.8mbd.
The Senate also backed the proposed exchange rate, which was moved by the Federal Government from N306 to one dollar to N360 per dollar.
This development invariably shows that the Senate has thrown its weight behind the devaluation of the naira.
However, other critical parameters like the exchange rate of N360 to a US dollar, 14.43 inflation growth rate and 4.42 GDPgrowth rate were retained.
Other assumptions retained are N5.09 trillion Federal Governmnet’s revenue, N10.51 trillion, N4.95 trillion fiscal deficit and N4.17 trillion new borrowings (including foreign and domestic borrowing).
Others are N398.5 billion as statutory transfers, N2.68 trillion for debt service, N272.9 billion as sinking fund and N536.7 billion for Pension and gratuities.
The Senate also retained other components of the proposal in the MTEF/FSP includingN10.51 trillion as total expenditure, N4.93 trillion as total recurrent, N2.83 trillion for personnel cost and N2.23 trillion for capital expenditure.
The Chairman, Senate Committee on Finance, Senator Solomon Adeola in his report, said the increase in the oil price benchmark from the proposed $25 to $28 was as a result of the recent upward trend of the price of crude oil in the international market.
According to him, the price oil per barrel is now $38 with a very strong indication that the price will rise to $40 or $45 per barrel.
President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, in his remarks after the passage of the MTEF/FSP, urged the Senate Committee on Privatisation to laise with the Bureau of Public Enterprise (BPE) in ensuring that the projected N260billion from proceeds of privatised agencies are realised and used to fund critical projects in the revised 2020 budget.
He faulted some special accounts being operated by the executive particularly the Natural Resources Development Accounts.
According to him, such accounts at this time of scarcity of funds, are not all necessary.
“Keeping monies in Natural Resources Development Accounts is more of waste than serving critical purposes,” he said.
He thereafter adjourned sitting to next week Tuesday for consideration and possible passage of the revised N10.509 trillion 2020 budget.
However, the intention of the Federal Government to borrow Euro 995million from the Export-Import Bank of Brazil to support Green Imperative and enhance the mechanisation of agriculture and agro-processing in the country, was put in abeyance by the upper chamber.
Also, the ongoing negotiation by the Federal Government with the World Bank for between $500million – $750 million for COVID-19 Action Recovery and Economic Stimulus Programme to support state-level efforts to protect livelihoods, ensure food security and stimulate economic activities, has not been approved.
Additionally, $500 – $750 million also being negotiated with the World Bank for State Fiscal Transparency and Sustainability Programme to provide fiscal support to the States was not approved.
The Committee said that it would consider the proposals when it gets requisite details on what the loans would be used for from the Minister of Finance, Budget National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed.
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