Defence Ministry joins arms purchase probe By Augustine Ehikioya

Defence Ministry joins arms purchase probe

The Federal Ministry of Defence was stopped from taking part in arms procurement, Permanent Secretary Ismaila Aliyu said yesterday

According to him, the Services took over completely what should be part of the ministry’s  responsibilities.

He believes the probe of arms purchases ordered by President Muhammadu Buhari will ensure cost effectiveness in future procurement.

Aliyu, addressing reporters at the State House after a meeting of top officials of the ministry with the President, said President Buhari had approved the inclusion of a representative of the Ministry on the panel.

He said: “Mr President has asked that the Ministry of Defence be included in that committee. The ministry was very involved in the procurement in those years. So, definitely we have something to present to that committee.

“We are now part and parcel of that committee. The ministry is very excited that this committee has been formed.

“Apart from the administrative and financial support, it is to make sure that the policy thrust is being complied with, procurement of relevant equipment, according to specification of the armed forces, is being complied with and we are very happy for that.

“At the end of this, we hope to have procurement that will be value-added, cost effective and will meet our needs both locally and internationally.”

“Definitely the ministry was involved in the procurement of arms but in recent years the responsibility was shifted to the services,” he added.

On the meeting with the President, he said: “This is a family meeting. We have briefed him. Mr. President is happy with the operations of the ministry, the operation of the fight against insurgency, there is substantial progress – and achievements.

“He has asked us to continue with the momentum and he is very willing to support the needs of the armed forces.”

Aliyu said the new service chiefs are doing everything possible to win the war against Boko Haram before the three months deadline.

NATION