Nigeria’s Arms Import Expenditure Soars to N115 Billion in Q1 2023, Revealing Security Concerns

Nigeria’s Arms Import Expenditure Soars to N115 Billion in Q1 2023, Revealing Security Concerns

…By Jack Sylva for TDPel Media.

According to a report by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) on trade statistics, Nigeria has reportedly spent approximately N115 billion on the importation of arms and ammunition in the first quarter of 2023.

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The data covers the period between January and March 2023 and indicates a higher expenditure compared to the previous two years.

Rising Trend in Arms Importation, Insecurity Implications

In 2022, arms and ammunition worth N4.9 billion were imported into the country during the same period, while in 2021, the amount spent on imports amounted to N37 billion.

The NBS report highlights a concerning upward trend in arms importation, underscoring the prevalent insecurity challenges facing the nation.

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Data Sources and Agencies Involved, Lack of Specifics

The data used for the report was sourced from various entities, including the Nigerian Customs Service, the Central Bank of Nigeria, and companies in the oil industry.

However, the report does not specify which agency or security outfits were responsible for the importation of the arms and ammunition.

Calls for Revamping Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria (DICON)

Security expert Chidi Omeje, commenting on the situation, emphasized the need to revamp the Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria (DICON) to reduce the country’s reliance on foreign countries for arms and ammunition.

Omeje attributes the increased importation to the country’s multiple internal security challenges, ranging from terrorism to banditry, separatist agitations, and various forms of criminality across different regions.

Concerns Over DICON’s Performance and Dependence on Foreign Suppliers

Omeje highlights the under-performance of DICON and its failure to produce high-caliber weapons like its counterparts in other countries.

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He expresses concern that Nigeria, despite being practically at war with numerous security threats, heavily relies on foreign countries for its weapons.

Omeje calls on the new government to prioritize and ensure that DICON fulfills its responsibilities, emphasizing the need for self-sufficiency in arms production.

The report sheds light on the substantial expenditure on arms importation in Nigeria, raising concerns about the country’s dependence on foreign suppliers and the urgency to address the underlying insecurity challenges.

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