Nigerian Army needs more recruits to curb insecurity – FG

Nigerian soldiers

The minister of Defence, Major General Bashir Magashi (rtd) has said that the Nigerian Army is in need of more recruits to nip insecurity in the bud.

The minister made this known during the Ministerial Briefing on the score card of President Muhammadu Buhari at the Ministry of Defence.

He also recommended recruitment of 19,000 soldiers biannually to enhance the capabilites of the Armed Forces of Nigeria to meet the security challenges in the country.

He said the administration approved 100 per cent increase in the recruitment of manpower across the three services as troops arrested 492 vessels for illegal activities in the Nigerian waters.

He said the Nigerian Army increased it’s recruitment from 3000 per intake to 6500 per intake.

“Representing over 100 per cent increase in manpower of soldiers while also increasing the intake of officers.

“The strength of officers between 2015 and 2023 witnessed an increase of 35 percent while the strength of ratings increased by 84 per cent. ”

For the Nigerian Army, though he did not give the exact number of acquired weapons, he noted that the infusion of these equipment to the services, have had tremendous positive impact on the fighting spirit and morale of the forces.

The launch of Delsat 1 satellite on 15 November, 2022, to enhance operational effectiveness of the Armed Forces of Nigeria is also an added advantage, as the minister says it has given Nigeria an eye in the sky, and would provide periodic imagery that would enhance operational capabilities of the military and other security agencies to fight insecurity.

He highlighted that the Nigerian Navy arrested 492 vessels for illegal activities in Nigerian waters between 2015 to 2023.

“139 of the arrested vessels have been handed over to Economic and financial crimes commission (EFCC), 52 were handed over to Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), while two vessels handed over to National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), as well as 30 to the Department of Fisheries. Notably, 143 of the arrested vessels are still in the custody of the Armed Forces, while 82 have been released to the owners on completion of investigation or trial.”

He added that the Nigerian Navy operations in 2022 saved the country N158 billion.

“The ministry also curtailed crude oil theft in the Niger Delta region, where over 500 thousand barrels crude oil, 41 million litres of AGO, 14 million litres of DPK, and over 132 thousand litres of PMS were seized in 2022 alone, saving the country over N158 billion. This improved the crude oil revenue of the country,” he said.

The Chief of Defence Staff, General Lucky Irabor fielding questions said Boko Haram Terrorists, Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) are not in control of any Nigerian territory, as ongoing military operations in the North East were in the last phase to finally eliminate the criminal elements.

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