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Committee seeks Reps support to reform defence sector

A Nigerian Armed Forces Reform Implementation and Advisory Committee says it is pursuing an integrated defence sector capable of meeting current security problems.

The Chairman of the Committee, a retired Major General, Alwali Kazir, stated this during a meeting with the Joint Committees on Defence, Army, and Airforce of the House of Representatives.

Kazir emphasised the importance of increasing armed forces personnel’s training and exposure to modern security concerns.

While seeking legislative support for the defence sector reform, Kazir argued that the change was necessary to address the current globalisation-related difficulties.

Mr Babajimi Benson, Chairman of the House Committee on Defense, stated that the House was modifying the Armed Forces Act to reflect contemporary circumstances and worldwide best practices.

Mr Benson stated that the amendment is intended to address the House’s concerns about the civil-military relationship as well as a bad impression of the armed services.

Abdul Razak Namdas, Chairman of the House Committee on Army, stressed the critical necessity to rein in overlapping mandates and conflicting interests among security forces.

He also indicated that the National Assembly is considering the Armed Forces Trust Fund Bill, which would provide an alternate source of money for security agencies to improve their efficiency.

Shehu Koko, Chairman of the House Committee on Air Force, encouraged the committee to include the welfare of officers and soldiers especially those retired, in recognition of their contribution to the country.

The 24-member committee is tasked with preparing a white paper outlining the steps necessary to implement the Presidential Committee on the Reform of the Nigerian Armed Forces’ 72 recommendations.

Reporting by Ibrahim Shehu; Editing by saadatu Albashir