By Sumaila Ogbaje
Abuja, Nov. 7, 2020 The Minister of Defence, Maj.-Gen. Bashir Magashi (rtd), has promised to sustain funding of the Military Industrial Complex, Kaduna, towards enabling it to perform its statutory mandate through research and development.
The Special Assistant to the Minister on Media and Publicity, Mr Mohammad Abdulkadri, disclosed this in a statement on Saturday in Abuja.
Magashi gave the assurance when the Executive Secretary Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND) Prof. Sulaiman Bogoro led members of the Defence and Security Sub-Committee for the proposed establishment of the National Research and Development Foundation (NRDF) on a courtesy call on him on Friday.
The Minister said that leveraging on research and development was key to actualising national aspiration to becoming self-reliant in a 21st century that is driven bytechnology.
He said that Nigeria could not afford to take the back seat among comity of nations in its efforts to industrialise.
He commended TETFUND for the strategic moves to establish the NRDF, assuring that the military would continue to take the lead in research and development especially in local production of platforms at the Defence Industrial Corporation of Nigeria (DICON).
According to the minister, the tri-services of the armed forces have robust R & D Units that are churning out implementable modules that are viable for production of some range of weapons being inducted into the theatres of operation across the country.
“Leveraging R&D over a period of time would reinforce defence capabilities and serve as force multipliers in the internal and external defence imperatives, hence the need to drum support for the proposed NRDF,” he said.
In his remarks, the Executive Secretary of TETFUND Prof. Bogoro acknowledged the support of President Muhammadu Buhari and commended the defence ministry for galvanising support for the proposed foundation.
Bogoro said the developed economies had leveraged on research and development, adding that Nigeria must toe the same path to change the narrative to advance technologically.