As a way of closing gaps that exist in the structure and operation of the Armed Forces in interfacing with the Ministry of Defence, the Federal Government has inaugurated a 24 member Committee for advisory and implementation of recommendations contained in the report on the reform of the Defence Sector.
The Minister of Defence Maj. Gen. Bashir Salihi Magashi (rtd) while inaugurating the Members said that the Ministry has identified the need to effectively and efficiently articulate policies that allow for superintending over the Armed Forces and the Defence Headquarters.
“It is gratifying to mention that the Reform Committee made far reaching submissions which if implemented, would significantly address the inherent challenges militating against the effective functioning of Ministry of Defence and the Armed Forces of Nigeria”. He remarked.
Gen. Magashi said President Muhammadu Buhari is desirous of repositioning Nigeria’s Defence Sector, as such, the committee is mandated to examine and classify content of the recommendations in short, medium and long term implementation frame.
The Minister added that the committee is to embark on advocacy visits to relevant Ministries, Department and Agencies for support in the implementation of the reform content.
According to the Terms of Reference handed to it, the Committee which is Chaired by Maj. Gen. Alwali Jauji Kazir is to draft Legal instrument for the attention of convening authority, by way of Executive Orders or bills to be officially forwarded to the National Assembly for legislation.
“as the implementation Committee, you are also to develop strategies to address any delay or bottlenecks in the operations of the Nigerian Armed Forces as they relate to the Ministry of Defence and ensure that each responds to its role.”
Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Defence, Musa Istifanus while welcoming guests said that the submission of the Report of the Reform Committee gave birth to the inauguration of the Advisory/implementation committee.
Mr. Istifanus remarked that members of the committee were chosen for having been worthy and competent based on wealth and years of experience while in active service.
The Permanent Secretary added that the recommendations, if effectively implemented will bring about improved performances in the Armed Forces and guarantee the safeguard of the Nation’s territorial integrity.
Responding on behalf of other members of the committee, the Chairman of the Armed Forces Reform Implementation and Advisory Committee, Maj. Gen Alwali Jauji Kazir (rtd) expressed the members unalloyed support to the programs and project of the Minister of Defence geared towards achieving peace, concord and stability in the Defence Sector.
“May I on behalf of the members of this committee assure you of our firm commitment to carry out the assignment as contained in the Terms of Reference of our Committee. Indeed, you may have envisioned an Armed Forces that would function efficiently in today’s volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous environment”. He pledged.
The Committee has 6 weeks to complete deliberations and to submit it’s report and it is expected that Nigerians will feel the positive impact of a new Defence Sector when the Ministry of Defence, the Defence Headquarters and the Services are well positioned to effectively discharge their constitutional mandates.
President Muhammadu Buhari had mandated the Minister of Defence to initiate the process of reforming the Nigerian Armed Forces and its operations especially on rules of engagement and this led to setting up of the Committee on the reform of the Sector which submitted its report in April this year.