President Muhammadu Buhari on Saturday disclosed that owing to the security threats confronting the nation, government in collaboration with the Armed Forces of Nigeria is reviewing and upscaling various security operations across the country.
Towards this end, he said there has been a general upgrade in the area of personnel, equipment and facilities in the Armed Forces and other security agencies leading to the commissioning of more than 1000 officers for the Armed Forces in 2019 alone.
Speaking at the Passing Out Parade of 66 Regular Course, Army, 67 Regular Course Navy and Airforce and Short Service 45 Army at the Nigerian Defence Academy the President said the upscaling and upgrade is borne out of the realization that the fortunes of the counter-insurgency operations in Nigeria are inexorably tied to the economic prosperity of not only Nigeria but also those of other countries in the international system.
Represented by the Minister of Defence, Major General Bashir Magashi (rtd), President Buhari said, “Despite some setbacks in the security situation in the country, I make bold to assure you that the country is getting much better by the day.
“I must, however, quickly note also the credible results our individual and collective responses to such threats have achieved. In this regard, Nigeria has been credited for stabilizing the Tchad Basin, a feat that is key to the success of both local and global counter-terrorism operations.
“I am confident that it is in the recognition of this and other related roles which Nigeria is playing in Africa and the international system at large that galvanized support for us, leading to the election of a Nigerian as President of the United Nations General Assembly.
“Back home, our current strategy to the threats of Boko Haram and other terrorist insurgencies is yielding even more positive results to both local and international acclaim.
“Indeed, we have significantly rolled-back the frontiers of terrorism in the country and are making significant progress with containing the threats of Kidnapping, and herder-farmer clashes, amongst others.
“Growing the economic interaction and collaboration among African countries is critical to the development of national industrial and technological capacities with which to further meet the basic and other capital needs of persons and corporate investors in our economy.
“A trade regime that will activate the leveraging of Africa’s economic potentials is pivotal to the realization of such a grand strategy for addressing the challenges of poverty, inequality, and insecurity on a sustained basis.
“It is in the light of this that Nigeria recently signed the Africa Free Trade Agreement. I believe that free trade engenders competition, and competition, in turn, provokes efficiency. I am confident that such a strategy will address the fundamental remote causes of insecurity in Africa, as well as set the tone for an effective and sustained war on corruption in the continent.
“Also, as part of a long-term strategy for a more effective and sustained war on corruption, my administration is poised to eliminate the incentives for corruption by addressing some of the major causes of corruption through the provision of improved access to education that prepares our youths for global competitiveness; quality health services for improved life expectancy; decent and affordable housing, etc.
“This we shall do in partnership with the relevant organized private sector. It is the conviction of my administration that ineffective policies for social provisioning must be redressed in our efforts to tackle the fundamental causes of corruption in our society. Indeed, this is how best to give vent to the much cherished values of fairness, equity and justice to the people of this nation.
While congratulating the passing out cadets who are transitioning to officership after combined rigorous academic and military training, the President said, “The training which you have received has prepared you for leadership and the management of resources. As young officers, your superiors will look up to you for support and, where necessary initiatives.
“You must be up to the task. You must constantly develop your military and mental capacities to be effective, especially in this information age. You must at all times, discern and align yourselves with the vision of the Government even as your professional environment changes. I wish you all a fulfilling career in your chosen arm of service.”
For doing so much with less, I commend once again the Commandant, officers, and staff of the Academy for a job well done. I urge you all to continue to do even more and better for the benefit of Africa as we thrive to contribute to global security and stability.
“The presence in our midst today of Cadets from sister African countries is an eloquent testimony of the credible roles we play in global and regional peace and security. It is also a clear demonstration of the appreciation of the critical role which the Nigerian Defence Academy plays in that regard.”